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Stroke alert for techy young who eat lazily

The Hong Kong Stroke Society president, Dawson Fong To-sang

Stroke alert for techy young who eat lazily

Young people are facing a greater risk of stroke than their parents' generation as they exercise less, eat an unhealthy diet and play more with their phones, doctors warned on World Stroke Day yesterday.

The Hong Kong Stroke Fund polled 12,405 students from 83 schools from September to October. It found that about 70 percent of pupils use their phones and computers for four hours or more a day, and 40 percent exercise for less than an hour a week.

Sixty percent eat vegetables that make up only one-third of their meals or even less daily, while 30 percent do not eat fruit.

A fund member and a Yan Chai Hospital neurologist, Joshua Fok Wai- ming, said stroke usually occurs after the age of 65 but if youngsters keep their unhealthy habits, they could suffer from stroke as early as 40.

"Research in the past showed that there is a tendency for early-onset stroke cases," Fok said. "It is largely due to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise, which lead to high blood pressure and diabetes, the most common risk factors for stroke."

Stroke is the No 4 cause of death in Hong Kong. One in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. Of more than 25,000 stroke cases every year, about 3,500 are fatal.

Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain is reduced or blocked for certain reasons, leading to a sudden lack of oxygen in the brain cells, causing the brain to lose its functions. Patients might suffer from paralysis, unconsciousness, speech impairment, memory loss and damage in critical-thinking ability.

The Hong Kong Stroke Society president, Dawson Fong To-sang, attributed the unhealthy lifestyle of young people to the heavy use of technology. "When I was a kid, our favorite entertainment was hide-and-seek. We ran around every day and seldom dined out," he said. "But now teenagers like to sit indoors scrolling their phones while eating instant noodles, which leaves them with very little time to exercise."

Fok said smoking doubles the risk of stroke. Youngsters should refrain from smoking and stick to a diet that is "three lows and one high," which means low in sugar, sodium and fat but high in fiber.

The survey also found that two out of five students have little knowledge about the causes and symptoms of stroke.

Fong urged the government to allocate more resources on education to increase teenagers' awareness of stroke and a healthy lifestyle.

Community centers should offer free blood pressure checks to youngsters.

Sources: The Standard Oct 30 2017

The above information is not medical advice, for reference only / from : Michelle




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