American food for thought

DID you know that a ''cholestrol-free'' product can still be high in FAT? Look in the nutrition information on the label and it indicates that there is still at least two per cent fat or more! This was one fact which came to light at a question-and-answer session on nutrition and American food, organised by the Hong Kong-American Teenage Club.

The 11 girls and nine boys were first given a brief introduction to the basic concepts of good nutrition and then were taught how to bake America's favourite snack - cookies.

This summer programme, which started in mid-July, is aimed at helping Hong Kong teenagers, mainly from Forms 3 and 4, to gain a deeper understanding of the United States.

''We hope to provide an opportunity for the students to learn more about the States and also spend their summer in a productive way.

''We have organised a talk by Mr Jeremy Day on 'Perception of America' as well as an outing to Sharp Island to have an American-style barbecue,'' said Professor Lee C. Lee, director of the Hong Kong-America Center.

In addition to these activities, the club has organised games on cultures and stereotypes, functions of government branches, and the legislative process.

A debate adapting the exact style of the American House Debate was also arranged for the students to familiarise them with the American legislative process.

''During our classes at school, it's impossible to spend so much time on one part of a subject, but in this programme, we learn as we play,'' said Selina Kwan, one of the participants.

Another student, Ivan Chang, added that he wanted to have a chance to learn how to communicate with foreigners. His school encouraged students to join the programme by subsidising them $100 of the $120 they had to pay.

The club chose several elite schools to recruit students, as this year is the programme's first and will be used to plan future activities.

When asked by Young Post whether any of the students had plans to study abroad, most replied that they did.

''I'm thinking about it but I'm not sure when yet,'' said David Au, reflecting exactly the club's aim - to help young people know more about a foreign land before they have to make any major decision on whether to study there.