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Weight gain woes in China

(People's Daily Online)    08:56, January 25, 2015

According to statistics released at a conference to launch the latest China Obesity Index, China is now No. 2 for obesity – only the US has a greater level of obesity.

The country’s obesity rate has skyrocketed over the last three decades, resulting in 46 million Chinese adults who are obese, and 300 million who are overweight. In China, the number of people with a BMI (BMI - a weight-to-height ratio) of 28 or over exceeded 100 million last year, and the growth rate is accelerating. More than 40% of urban adults are overweight.

Obesity is no longer a matter of personal health but a major concern for the country, said Zhang Yongjian, director of the Food and Drug Industry Development Research Center, CASS. Lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet (mainly involving too high intakes of salt, sugar, and fats), have helped fuel an onslaught of obesity-linked diseases.

Women are more sensitive than men to their weight and size, said the research, conducted by a leading Chinese fitness institute. When their BMI is over 20.5, ordinary Chinese women start to see themselves as chubby and start to think about losing weight, or doing something about it.

According to the findings, young people under 29 make up 80% of those trying to lose weight, and have strict standards for what their weight should be. People of different age groups have different concerns for their body shape. 61% of people over 30 years old are concerned by their expanding waistline. Teenagers are more concerned with the shape of their thighs.

The survey showed that 41% of respondents use low-calorie diets 40% chose to use slimming products, and 19% rely on sports to keep fit. Interestingly, the survey also found that less than a half of those trying to lose weight are actually overweight (BMI of 24 above). 1% of all slim people are trying to lose weight.

Health experts say that obesity has become one of the main medical problems of the 21st century. Prof. Li Keji of the Public Health School of Peking University said that being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Bianji)

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