Obesity in China

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, People's Republic of China Pages: 8 (3038 words) Published: November 24, 2012
Obesity in China‬
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A McDonald's Chinese New Year meal. American fast-food outlets have been blamed for the increase in obesity in China.[1] Obesity in China is a major health concern according to the WHO, with overall rates of obesity below 5% in the country, but greater than 20% in some cities.[2] This is a dramatic change from times when China experienced famine as a result from ineffective agriculturalization plans such as the Great Leap Forward.[3] Currently, obesity in China is mostly confined to the cities where fast food culture and globalization have taken over, in comparison to poorer rural areas. Despite this concentration of obesity, the sheer size of China's population means that over one fifth of all one billion obese people in the world come from China.[4] Contents  [hide]  * 1 Issues * 2 Response and prospects * 3 Action and Policy * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links| [edit]

Statistics from the Chinese Health Ministry have revealed that urban Chinese boys age 6 are 2.5 inches taller and 6.6 pounds heavier on average than Chinese city boys 30 years ago. A leading child-health researcher, Ji Chengye, has stated that, "China has entered the era of obesity. The speed of growth is shocking."[1] Economic expansion and the increase in living standards as a result has seen food intake increase on average in the cities and the growth of automation and transport has seen less physical labor. Rapid motorization has drastically reduced levels of cycling and walking in China. A 2002 report has revealed a direct correspondence between ownership of motorized transport by households in China and increasing obesity related problems in children and adults.[5] The introduction of processed foods through globalisation in China and the problem of obesity is a recent phenomenon, as only 45 years ago the country faced starvation during the leadership of Mao Zedong.[1] However while malnutrition has been mostly ended in cities today, millions of rural poor, especially in rural western China are still a far cry from the problem facing the cities.[1] The problem is affecting the young generations although some sources indicate the problem is worse with those between 35 and 59 where more than half are now overweight in cities, a figure similar to that in industrialised countries.[6] However, they state that the younger generations are increasingly at risk. Today, 8% of 10- to 12-year-olds in China's cities are considered obese and an additional 15% are overweight, according to Chinese Ministry of Education.[1] Similarly, A 2006 study conducted by University of Southern California found that the average body fat of Hong Kong Children was 21 percent, an alarmingly high number.[7] [edit]

Response and prospects

A KFC outlet in Hohhot, China
According to Wang Longde, the Chinese vice health minister, the problem is that the population does not have enough awareness and lacks knowledge of nutrition and what constitutes a reasonable diet.[8] The government is attempting to reduce the problem with building more playgrounds and passing a law with requires students to exercise or play sports for an hour a day at school.[1] Chen Chunming, an expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against the rapid growth of American fast-food outlets in China saying, "Don't take children to eat fast food like McDonald's and KFC."[1] De-emphasis on sports also plays an important part in the rise of obesity in China. Many Chinese people look at the way they advance in life is getting a better education so they can get a better job. The heavy emphasis on schoolwork and the pressure to do so much into that direction keeps children away from play and from physical activity.[7] Fat farms, where children try to sweat off their excess weight have grown since the 1990s. In 2000,...
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