Fat Chinese on the Rise


More signs that China is advancing economically: Chubsy-ubsyism is on the rise there, especially among adolescents. From National Geographic:

According to Zhai, in 2002 16.7 percent of school-age boys and 9.6 percent of school-age girls were obese. "In big cities it's a big problem," she said.

Zhai and other experts blame the extra fat on a range of factors, many of them tied to China's rapidly changing economy and culture….

The diets of Chinese adults and children are far higher in calorie-laden meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, fats, and sugars than ever before.

In addition, kids–especially city dwellers–are more sedentary today and spend more time indoors in front of homework, television, computer games, and the Internet.

Shuwen Ng is a health economist and doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She says that kids in China now have pocket money, and they spend a sizable portion of it on junk food. Ng adds that advertising and peer groups influence kids' food choices. Certain foods, such as new candies or fast food, have cachet.

China's childhood obesity rate still lags that of the United States, where some 15 percent of kids are said to be obese. But the long-term effects are equally serious.

Whole thing here.

Hat tip: The relatively new and wonderful blog OKfuture.net, which promises, "It's all going to be OK…sort of," and pulls together a fun, lively, and refreshingly idiosyncratic set of links about "news, science, nanotech, humor" and more.