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UPDATED: 16:17, October 13, 2004
200 mln Chinese overweight, obesity expected to rise sharply
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A recent survey shows that the overweight and obesity rates of Chinese adults have reached 22.8 percent and 7.1 percent. It is estimated that the number of Chinese who suffer from overweight and obesity totals 200 million and 60 million respectively. The adult overweight and obesity rates in urban areas reach 30.0 percent and 12.3 percent each and children obesity rate has also grown to 8.1 percent. It is estimated that the obesity rate of Chinese will increase by a big margin in the future, said Wang Longde, vice-minister of health, on October 12.

At a press conference, Wang briefed on the situation of the National Survey on Chinese residents' Nutrition and Health conducted from August to December 2002. The survey shows that the diet and nutrition conditions of China's urban and rural residents have been clearly improved over the past decade, as a result, incidence of diseases has kept decreasing. At the same time, however, the rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity have been rising. The Chinese are now facing double challenges from a lack of nutrition and imbalanced trophic structure.

The survey also reveals that the level of Chinese children's growth and development is rising steadily. Compared to 1992, the present height of youngsters aged between 3 and 18 has increased 3.3 cm on average. The incidence of a disease caused by malnutrition has notably declined and that of anemia among residents has somewhat fallen.

In the meantime, however, urban residents consumed too much poultry, meat and fat, while their consumption of cereal is too low. The inadequate intake of micronutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin-A is a common problem existing among urban and rural dwellers.

The survey demonstrates that currently the nation has 160 million high blood pressure patients, the incidence of this disease is rising rapidly in rural areas, difference between urban and rural areas is already not distinct in this respect. The adult diabetes rate stands at 2.6 percent, the number of diabetes patients is estimated to be over 20 million nationwide. The morbidity of abnormal blood-fat among adults stands at 18.6 percent, and the number of such patients is estimated to be 160 million.

Numerous researches indicate that such diseases as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are the results of lacking sports activities, said Wang.

By People's Daily Online

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