1 in 5 Chinese Children Now Obese

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Fraser Clarke

Reading time: Two minutes

One in five Chinese children are now obese according to a new report, despite the country’s adult obesity rate being among the world’s lowest.

According to the study, published last week by a research team at Peking University, a vast range of factors linked with China’s development have been given for this dramatic rise, with one of the more unique reasons actually placing the blame on the children’s grandparents!

Many grandparent age Chinese still see being overweight as a positive, with this group having lived during periods of extreme poverty where little food was available. As a result studies have shown that they now overfeed children - especially during early stages of their life.

That is far from the only reason for the shocking increase however, with rapid development, growing personal wealth levels, the rise of junk food establishments and increasingly sedentary lifestyles all playing a major role in creating a environment where obesity can thrive.

In an attempt to prevent rates from rising further the new report’s co-author Jun Ma said: “This suggests a pressing need for policy responses that may include the taxation of food and beverage with added sugars and fats, subsidies to promote dietary diversity, and strategies to promote physical activity and health education.”

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