HEALTH BITES

Why doctors want calorie labels on alcoholic drinks; Hong Kong hosts 'wellness walk'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 May, 2015, 6:08am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 May, 2015, 11:01am

Calorie labels needed for alcoholic drinks: Calorie counts should be made mandatory for all alcoholic drinks as a matter of urgency, argues a leading public health doctor in a commentary published in the British Medical Journal last week. Fiona Sim, chairwoman of the Royal Society for Public Health in Britain, says alcoholic drinks contribute to obesity, and the law "should require restaurant menus and labels to make energy content explicit in addition to alcohol content". She points out that in the EU, drinks that contain more than 1.2 per cent alcohol by volume are exempt, so consumers do not know what is in them. "Most women, for example, do not realise that two large glasses of wine, containing 370 calories, compose almost a fifth of their daily recommended energy intake, as well as containing more than the recommended daily limit of alcohol," she says. The US Food and Drug Administration has mandated calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks from December in restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets.

Wellness on the menu

Lifestyle website Sassy Hong Kong and wellness company Living Alive have teamed up to organise the full-day "Wellness Walk" that offers a host of activities in Central and Sheung Wan. Organisers say the Saturday event's goal is to spread "conscious living by encouraging you to live well, eat well and be well". The activities include yoga and meditation classes, workout sessions, tasty treats and informative talks. Tickets are HK$400 and advance booking is required for the classes. Go to sassyhongkong.com for details.

Evolution Asia Yoga Conference

The annual yoga event will return on June 11 to 14, bringing together renowned yoga teachers, leaders and innovators in the wellness industry, body-mind experts and yoga practitioners on all levels. "With more than 45 of the world's top international masters, it's perfect whether you are a yoga devotee, novice, teacher or beginner," says Alda Lo, the conference's manager. The programme goes beyond just yoga, offering astrology, tai chi, energy healing, Bollywood dancing, detox, weight loss, Thai massage and more. "It's the perfect opportunity to be inspired by something new," Lo says. The conference will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. For registration, go to asiayogaconference.com

Disinfectant wipes cut food poisoning

Cleaning your kitchen counter with a disinfectant wipe straight after unwrapping and/or preparing poultry can reduce your risk of campylobacter food poisoning by up to 99.2 per cent, according to a new study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. Campylobacter infections are common, causing vomiting and diarrhoea, and can be very dangerous for young children, older people and anyone with a compromised immune system. Cooking the meat thoroughly until the juices run clear will destroy the bacteria. Refrain from washing poultry under the tap, which can spread the bacteria through splashing and spraying. Using antibacterial wipes further reduces the risk, says lead researcher Dr Gerardo Lopez of the University of Arizona. "We found that it's not just the physical removal of bacteria by the wipe that helps - the antibacterial solution left behind on the counter surface continues to disinfect over the next few minutes," he says.