Hongkongers Eat Enough French Toast to Cover Earth’s Circumference Annually

Victor Ting wrote . . . . . . . . .

Hongkongers consume the equivalent length of the Earth’s circumference in French toast annually, a survey has found, prompting a nutritionist to warn of health risks caused by the city’s snacking habits.

Other popular treats included French fries, fried chicken thighs, egg tarts and pineapple buns with butter, the online survey conducted by health platform HealthyD found.

“Hong Kong’s favourite foods are deep-fried with a lot of oil, and usually served with butter and syrup. Excessive consumption could lead to obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease,” said Cynthia Wong Oi-se, a senior nutritionist at NutraCare Consultancy.

The survey found Hongkongers get through about 320 million servings a year of French toast, a dish made of fried sliced bread soaked in eggs and milk and containing 420 calories per serving – the energy level of two bowls of rice. Some 57 per cent said this was their favourite snack.

French fries, 539 calories per serving, were second favourite, followed by fried chicken thighs (431 calories), toast with condensed milk and peanut butter (405 calories), egg tarts (230 calories) and pineapple buns (421 calories).

Some 55 per cent chose milk tea as their most beloved drink, the popular local beverage made from black tea and evaporated or condensed milk. One cup contains 140 calories.

Its popularity was closely followed by lemon tea and lemon water, according to the survey.

“One glass of iced lemon tea can contain as much as six spoons of sugar,” Wong said.

“Choose skimmed milk rather than full-fat as the latter is high in calories.”

A citywide health survey released by the government in 2017 found half of Hongkongers aged 15 or older were overweight or obese.

The online survey also found Hong Kong diners visited cha chaan teng on alternate days, with 88 per cent of respondents making a weekly average of 3.6 visits to the traditional restaurants.

The major reason for going to cha chaan teng was convenience, according to 68 per cent of the respondents.

Variety of dishes (41 per cent) and affordable prices (40 per cent) were also popular reasons.

Despite an overwhelming majority of 83 per cent of respondents thinking the snacks were “very unhealthy” or “not so healthy”, 61 per cent said they had no intention of making fewer visits to cha chaan teng.

Wong said a balanced diet and regular exercise were key to staying healthy and had some tips for cha chaan teng diners.

“Have a tomato and boiled egg sandwich or go for toast with jam if you are a toast lover. There are healthier options at cha chaan teng and you can do it step by step and build up a healthy routine,” Wong said.

More than 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio exercise at least three times a week would burn calories and keep weight stable, she added.

Source: SCMP

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New Vegetarian and Vegan Snacks

Satisfied Snacks, a new-to-market snack food company, is debuting its first product called Roughs.

The company says Roughs takes the healthy ingredients of a salad and turns it into a light crispy wafer. It contains no potato, corn, wheat, rice, oil or added sugar and the snacks are dried not fried.

The range includes: Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese, Tomato and Feta, Red Pepper and Walnut (vegan) and Carrot and Kimchi (vegan). All are handmade in the production kitchen in the UK.

Founder and chief executive of Satisfied Snacks, Heather Daniell, said: “Driven by the lack of healthy and tasty snack options I had to choose from – I created a solution which is delicious, convenient to eat on the go, packed full of healthy and natural ingredients and doesn’t make any compromises.”

Source: Talking Retail

Melting Snack Bars for People with Swallow Problem

Called EAT Bars, these snacks consist of a meringue surrounded by a flavored Greek yogurt coating. Developed by speech pathologist Tia Bagan, these new bars are a taste-driven way for those with swallowing problems to enjoy a satiating snack.

A pack of 12 bars sells for US$21.49.

Source: FoodBeast

Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Now Available in Snack Form

You can now eat the dough without the ice cream.

Ben & Jerry’s has announced the release of its new frozen Cookie Dough Chunks, that can be snacked on in bite-sized form.

The cookie dough snacks will come in three different flavors: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Source: Foodbeast

Online Influencers Pushing Junk Food Get Kids to Eat More Unhealthy Snacks

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . . . . .

Children who see young social media influencers promote junk food may consume more unhealthy calories, a new study suggests.

Advertising aimed at kids has long been linked to an increased risk that children will make unhealthy food choices and press their parents to buy them more processed, sugary, and calorie-loaded foods. Studies also suggest children can be easily swayed to try junk food endorsed by celebrities and cartoon characters. Less clear, however, is how their eating habits are impacted by social media influencers.

For the current study, researchers in the UK recruited 176 children, ages 9 to 11, and showed them Instagram profiles for two of their age group’s most popular YouTube video bloggers. The children were randomly assigned to view three types of Instagram profiles: healthy food marketing, junk food promotions, or endorsements unrelated to food.

After kids saw the Instagram profiles, researchers served four snacks – jelly candy, chocolate buttons, carrots, and seedless white grapes – and let kids eat as much as they wanted for 10 minutes. None of these foods were the same items kids saw on Instagram.

On average, kids who saw junk food promotions consumed 448 calories, compared with 389 calories for children who saw healthy food marketing and 357 for those who didn’t see any food promotions, the study found.

While all of the kids ate much more candy than carrots or grapes, kids who saw junk food promotions consumed more sweets than the other children: an average of 385 calories compared with 320 calories for kids who saw healthy food marketing and 292 calories for those who didn’t see food promotions.

“Children look to social media for role models, and are likely to imitate the behavior of media characters that they look up to and admire,” said lead study author Anna Coates of the University of Liverpool in the U.K.

“Unlike adults, children are more impulsive and are less motivated to resist food marketing as they are not driven by long term health goals,” Coates said by email.

One of the YouTube stars shown to kids in the study was a 26-year-old female with about 12.1 million subscribers on YouTube; the other was a 23-year-old male with about 4.1 million subscribers.

There wasn’t a meaningful difference in the total calories consumed or the amount of candy eaten by kids who saw healthy food promotions or no food marketing at all, researchers report in Pediatrics.

One limitation of the study is that many of the kids were already familiar with the two video bloggers featured in the experiment, and it’s possible that their food choices were impacted by how much they liked or disliked these “vloggers” before they joined the study, researchers note.

Another drawback is that the experiment didn’t look at how kids may actually engage with social media content, the study authors note. It didn’t assess how children might be influenced by content “liked” or shared by their friends in the real world.

Even so, the results offer fresh evidence of how social media can negatively impact kids’ eating habits, said Jennifer Harris of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

“We already knew that food companies spend a lot of money to popular social media influencers to appeal to teens and increase the ‘cool’ factor for their products,” Harris, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “But this is the first study to show that this type of marketing increases children’s consumption of any available junk food – not just the advertised products.”

Source: Reuters