Our government cares about you, really and by that your waistline specifically. In conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities, the Health Ministry an eating guide titled Healthy Eating During Chinese New Year: Healthy Eating The Key to Prosperity. Prosper we may but live long not so (pat on the back if you got our sci-fi reference!) if we continue binge eating during festivals.
According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, “Simply by consuming an additional 500 calories every day, a person can gain 1kg in just one week. Five peanut puffs (kok chai), 1 piece of bakkwa and 3 pieces of tempura prawn for example, are equivalent to 500 calories. Each.”
What is 500 calories you ask? 45 minutes of hard jogging that’s what and if you’re not the type to hit the gym it’s best to screw that cap back on that jar of pineapple tarts you’ve been hogging for the past hour. Liow also adds that two extra pieces of the sweet and sticky nian gao (kuih bakul) will take an hour of vigorous cycling to burn, and two pieces of bak kwa (dried sweetmeat) will take two-and-a-half hours of walking to work off.
Besides weight gain, uncontrolled eating in addition to the lack of physical activity (nope, the last time we checked, playing mahjong does not count as exercise) will lead to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
The 20 page booklet features plenty of useful information and tips like 8 steps to healthy eating during CNY.
Motivating yourself with the auspicious number 8:
And calorie contents of common dishes and beverages served during throughout the 2 week long festival:
The 20-page booklet lists out the truth behind the delectable delights:
Yee sang (one plate): 900 calories
Bak kwa (90g/one piece): 370 calories
Cashew nuts (40g): 230 calories
Mandarin orange (100g): 50 calories
Carbonated drink (325ml): 130 calories
Pineapple tarts (four pieces): 140 calories
According to the Health Ministry statistics, Malaysians are putting on the pounds faster than you can say Gong Xi Fa Cai with a 250% increase in 10 years since 1996. This booklet can be obtained from the Health Ministry website at www.moh.gov.my or at the 15 Food Information Centres nationwide run by the Health Ministry absolutely free of charge.
Looks like it’s high fibre cookies for the guests this year!