For those in the West who decry the encroachments of the “nanny state,” you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve come out to East Asia. A friend and local Hong Kong journalist forwarded to me a health advisory for World Cup fans put out by the territory’s government (Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China). It makes incredible reading: recommendations range from the inane — “Watching soccer matches is not enough, reserve time to do some exercise as well” — to the downright condescending — “Consume snacks only when you are hungry. Do not snack for the sake of snacking.” Granted, many of the tournament’s matches will begin at 2:30am here and there are legitimate worries about overall work productivity during the one-month tournament (which I’ll address, or not, once my own nocturnal schedule begins). But none of this merits being told to munch on only “dry-roasted nuts” or to “strike a balance between watching matches and fulfilling your social commitments.” Forget the nanny — welcome to the nagging mother state. Full text after the jump.
Health tips for World Cup fans
Soccer fans are reminded to stay health-conscious while watching World Cup games that kick off tomorrow (June 11).
A spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) said today (June 10) that even though crispy snacks (such as potato chips and fried food) and alcoholic beverages could add to the World Cup festivity, it is important to maintain healthy eating, get sufficient sleep, avoid tobacco or excessive alcohol, and stay within the law in terms of the smoking ban.
“Insufficient sleep can lower your immunity and make you prone to illnesses. It will also affect your work performance and increase risks of accidents and injury,” he said.
Following are some tips for soccer fans to stay healthy while enjoying the international event:
* Consume snacks only when you are hungry. Do not snack for the sake of snacking.
* Limit fatty and sugary snacks (such as potato chips, candy bars and buttered popcorn).
* Choose healthy snacks such as fresh/dried fruits/vegetables/pure juices without added sugar.
* Be aware of the calories and fat in nuts. Choose dry-roasted nuts without added salt and eat in moderation.
* Drink plenty of water or light tea (without added sugar) instead of beers and soft drinks if you do not want extra calories.
If you drink, drink sensibly:
* Choose drinks with lower alcohol content. Reduce alcohol content by adding ice.
* Do not get into rounds. Drink alcohol-free beverages in between.
* Never drink and drive. Use public transport or get a trusted person to take you home if you drink.
Stay away from tobacco:
* As both active and passive smoking are hazardous to health, please avoid smoking.
* When you feel like smoking, wash your face, do stretching exercises, try deep breathing and drink water to divert your attention from the urge.
Do not forget:
* Ensure good indoor ventilation.
* Stretch and move around while watching the matches.
* Sit properly while watching the soccer match to avoid muscle aches afterwards.
* Make sure you have enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can lower your immunity and make you more prone to illnesses, affect your working performance and increase risks of accidents and injury.
* Watching soccer matches is not enough, reserve time to do some exercise as well.
* Strike a balance between watching matches and fulfilling your social commitments.
Meanwhile, the spokesman added that during the World Cup period, smoke-free ambassadors from the DH’s Tobacco Control Office (TCO) would visit pubs and bars to promote soccer fans’ compliance with smoking ban in indoor public places. The TCO has also sent out letters to venue managers of bars to remind them to implement smoke-free measures in their indoor public places so as to safeguard the health of staff and customers.
Members of the public can call the DH’s health education hotline 2833 0111 and the DH’s Integrated Smoking Cessation hotline 1833 183 or visit the Central Health Education Unit’s website, www.cheu.gov.hk, and the TCO’s website, www.tco.gov.hk, for more information.
Ends/Thursday, June 10, 2010
Issued at HKT 14:01