I REFER to your report, “PM urges youths to quit smoking and turn to sports”, (The Star Online, Sept 13). It is true that an intelligent mind with a weak body is not considered to be totally healthy.
In New Zealand, I have noticed that children are encouraged by parents and teachers to participate in sports not just to be healthy but also to learn about teamwork, relaxing and building up their confidence.
I feel sad to read news from the Internet and newspapers about children of today suffering from obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
The number will continue to rise if something is not done. We cannot blame the media or the fast food companies for making our children unhealthy but ourselves.
If we want our children to grow up healthy and active, we should first start with the family. We need to act as role models to our children by eating a healthy, balanced diet and participating in sports activities.
We should also tell our children how sports can benefit them physically and mentally.
Teaching physical education or encouraging our children to join school sports clubs is not enough for them to stay fit.
School canteens should revamp their menus rather than selling junk food or fizzy drinks which are unhealthy for students.
The Health Ministry should organise health campaigns in all schools, especially in rural areas, to teach our children how to keep themselves fit and healthy.
Auckland, New Zealand.