Thu, Jul 01, 2010
The China Post/Asia News Network
Students likely to gain weight during summer break: poll

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Ninety-five percent of students surfed the Internet at home during past summer vacations, and they can be expected to gain an average of between three and five kilograms if they do the same this summer, according to a recent survey conducted by the Formosa Cancer Foundation. The survey suggested that surfing the Internet and playing video games are very popular among Taiwan's school children during their two-month vacation, with 77 percent of respondents saying they played games for around three hours a day, and 30 percent saying they devoted more than five hours to games.

Another 65 percent of the respondents said they preferred to watch television, of which 61 percent spent more than three hours per day watching TV.

When asked about bedtime, 40 percent of the school children said they went to sleep soon after 11 p.m., while 20 percent said they stayed up after midnight.

Tsai Li-chuan, deputy executive director of the foundation, said that school children lacked exercise and had erratic sleeping and eating habits, and that they usually put on considerable weight over the break.

According to the survey, 50 percent of students said they normally have late-night snacks three days per week, while some 30 percent usually skipped breakfast because they woke up too late.

Tsai said students enjoyed more freedom to choose their meals during vacations because their parents are at work. The survey found that more than 60 percent of respondents said they had eaten sugary foods like ice cream and drank sugary beverages almost every day during previous vacations.

Instant noodles were often their choice for lunch, Tsai said, adding that the food was high in calories.

The charity foundation has carried out the same survey during summer vacations for four consecutive years. A total of 4,057 valid responses from elementary students between the third grade and sixth grade were collected online from June 3-17 this year.

-The China Post/Asia News Network

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