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Have a healthy Mid-Autumn Festival

    Members of the public are reminded to maintain a balanced diet and take precautions against burns during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

     The Senior Medical and Health Officer, Central Health Education Unit (CHEU) of the Department of Health, Dr Rita Ho today (September 16) said, "While delicious seasonal foods such as moon cakes and fruit add festivity to Mid-Autumn, it is important to maintain healthy eating."

     For moon cakes that claimed to be "low-fat" or "low-sugar", Dr Ho said members of the public should still maintain a reasonable, not excessive, intake. Although these moon cakes are described as containing less animal fat and oil, and having substituted artificial sugar for cane sugar to avoid a surge in blood glucose level, over-eating is not advisable.

     "Even with an improved recipe, the crust and the fillings of these moon cakes still contain a certain amount of carbohydrates and fat, which may lead to obesity and adverse health impacts with excessive consumption," Dr Ho said.

     She further reminded members of the public to maintain healthy eating of traditional moon cakes.

     A quarter of a typical double yolk, lotus seed paste moon cake (a whole moon cake weighs about 190g) contains 300mg of cholesterol (which equals the daily upper threshold of cholesterol consumption), four to five teaspoons of sugar, two to three teaspoons of oil, and the calories of about a bowl of rice. On a daily basis, one should eat no more than one-eighth to a quarter of a moon cake.  

     "Patients, including those with chronic diabetes and heart disease, should consult their doctors for advice before enjoying their moon cakes," she added.

     Dr Ho said moon cakes should be stored in a refrigerator. "Snowy" moon cakes and ice cream moon cakes should be frozen and should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid the rapid breeding of germs that can lead to food poisoning. Moon cakes should be kept clean and air-tight. They should also be consumed before the expiry date.

     Dr Ho also urged members of the public to refrain from playing with fire and burning wax to avoid burns.  

     "Melted wax is hot enough to scald the skin, and pouring water over hot, melted wax will cause wax spillage and generate fire balls that cause burns. Severe burns can result in the formation of permanent scars and, worse still, the possibility of restricted joint and limb movement.

     "In case of a burn, the wound should be rinsed gently with clean water or placed under cold water for 10 minutes. Anyone suffering from burns should seek medical advice immediately," Dr Ho said.

     For more information, please call the Department of Health's 24-hour pre-recorded health education hotline: 2833 0111 or visit the CHEU website:

Ends/Friday, September 16, 2005
Issued at HKT 14:01


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