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Childhood obesity and adverse health effects in Hong Kong


  • C. Chan

    Corresponding author
    1. International Pediatric Association;
    2. Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation;
    3. HK Society for Child Neurology and Developmental Paediatrics, Hong Kong, China
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Dr C Chan, Suite 3509, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong, China. E-mail:


Hong Kong soon became aware of the importance of ensuring the optimum growth of their children with growth standards for Hong Kong being set out in 1962. By 1972 it was already clear that childhood obesity was emerging as a problem and increasing in prevalence and by 1987 an international workshop on nutrition, held in Hong Kong, was being alerted to this issue. Then 10 years later obesity featured as a major issue in the programme of the Asian Congress of Pediatrics with the local contributors highlighting the evidence already available in Hong Kong of the wide range of metabolic, cardiovascular, physical and psychological complications of obesity in the local community. The school health service was given a prominent role and there are now guidelines not only in relation to the standards of school lunches but also for the need to enhance the physical activity of children and involve a new educational community wide approach as part of a major co-coordinated effort within Hong Kong. Professional and community workers together with the government now have a comprehensive determination to tackle the challenge of obesity prevention. So Hong Kong intends to play a major role in the international response to the formation of the Global Alliance for the prevention of obesity and its associated chronic diseases.