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Obesity, poor eyesight worsen among Chinese students, survey finds

(Xinhua)    16:53, November 21, 2019

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Obesity and poor eyesight among Chinese youths continue to rise, a national survey has found.

The Ministry of Education published on Wednesday the results of a survey conducted last year on 116,631 10-year-old students and 79,078 14-year-old students from schools across the country.

Among the 10-year-olds polled, 8.8 percent of them were obese, while 38.5 percent suffered from poor eyesight. Those figures were up from 6.9 percent and 36.5 percent respectively compared with statistics from 2015.

For the 14-year-olds, 9.7 percent of those surveyed were overweight, a 2.2 percent rise from the 2015 survey, while 68.8 percent were short-sighted, rising from 65.3 percent in 2015.

Despite the negative trend in above categories, other major indices assessing the students' physical health showed positive results, the survey revealed.

93 percent of the 10-year-olds and 85 percent of the 14-year-olds were said to have reached the required standard for speed, strength and endurance.

The Ministry of Education also surveyed the sporting facilities of the students' schools. 92 percent of the primary schools surveyed had at least one basketball court, and 47 percent of them were equipped with football pitches. Among the middle schools, 99 percent had basketball courts and 67 percent had football pitches.

Despite a consistent improvement in the standard of living across the country, the physical health of China's youth has not improved since the mid-1980s. A survey published by the Ministry of Education every five years showed that the average physical condition of Chinese adolescents declined between 1985 and 2010.

The downward trend was not arrested until 2015, after the government introduced a series of policies designed to encourage physical exercise among the general public.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Xi, Bianji)

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