Hongkongers' love affair with fried food spikes cholesterol levels, says survey

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 9:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 November, 2012, 2:11pm

A survey of Hongkongers’ eating habits has shown that 83 per cent of respondents frequently eat high-cholesterol food, consuming cholesterol amounts way over health practitioners’ daily recommendations.

The survey was conducted by University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme and the Tian Shui Wei Kai Fong society, in an attempt to assess local eating habits and lifestyles. A total of 995 questionnaires were collected.

According to the Centre for Food Safety, one serving of common staple fried dishes – such as Singapore fried rice, seafood fried rice or stir-fried rice noodles with beef – contains between 300 to 500 milligrams of cholesterol – more than the 300 milligrams recommended by the World Health Organisation for an entire day.

Statistics also indicated that two out of every three Hong Kong people eat a large meal within three hours of going to bed.

Research carried out by the Department of Health in 2005 showed that one of four people in Hong Kong have high cholesterol.

In Tuesday’s survey, scholars cite a US study claiming high cholesterol levels may dramatically increase the chance of dementia-related disorders after 40 years.

Hong Kong has a long way to go in raising its citizens' awareness about the over-consumption of cholesterol, the study suggests. Almost eighty per cent of the people surveyed did not know their own cholesterol readings, while half of those surveyed said they did not keep track of their cholesterol intake.

Out of all the respondents, only two per cent said they put cholesterol as a top priority when choosing food. The vast majority say they care more about flavour, price, and calories instead.