Background

The Student Health Service, Department of Health (DH) has suggested that the obesity rate among school children has been rising from 16.7% since the 1996/1997 school year to 22.2% in the 2009/2010 school year, which represents a drastic increase of 5.5 percentage point within a decade. The rising trend of overweight and obesity has largely been attributed to the unhealthy lifestyles comprising unhealthy dietary habits, frequent intake of food high in fat and sugar as well as a lack of physical activity. Medical researches indicate that such unhealthy lifestyles cause many non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes.

At the same time, a number of researches also suggest that it is common for both children and parents to incorrectly perceive students' weight information. To correct this misperception, DH and EDB worked in collaboration to launch a pilot project, namely the "Physical Measurement Enhancement Pilot Project" in twelve primary and secondary schools in the 2010/2011 school year. It was hoped that dissemination of correct information could aid parents in building a supportive home environment enabling children to develop healthy eating and active living habits, thus minimising their risk of developing serious health problems in the long run. With positive feedbacks, the project has been extended to to all primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong from 2011/2012 onward.

Objectives

Through standardization of measuring protocols and computerization of data, the "Physical Measurement Enhancement Project" disseminates correct information on students' weight using Student Report and rectifies miscperception among children and parents. Schools can consider arranging dispatch of report directly to parents by class teachers (e.g. during interviews on School Parents' Day). It is hoped that the project also empowers the school administration with ability to monitor the trend of childhood obesity.

Enquiry

For enquiries, please contact the Department of Health (Tel: 2835 1918 or e-mail:support1_cheu@dh.gov.hk) for health related issues, or the Physical Education Section, Curriculum Development Institute of Education Bureau (Tel: 2624 4278 or e-mail: pe@edb.gov.hk) for issues related to program registration and the “Physical Fitness Recording System” .

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