CHINA is now home to the largest population of obese children, no thanks to urbanisation, a lack of physical activity and of course, unhealthy diets.
A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed the alarming results, which also said at least a third of the world’s population, or two billion people, are either overweight or obese and struggling with health issues.
The percentages of obese children are lower than the adults but according to findings, that rate is increasing and is especially evident in countries like China, India and Indonesia.
China has 15.3 million obese children – the highest number in the world – while India is a close second, with 14.4 million obese children.
The US has the greatest number of obese adults, with 79.4 million (35 percent of the total population), while China is second with 57.3 million.
“The study offers a discouraging reminder that the global obesity epidemic is worsening in most parts of the world and that its implications regarding both physical health and economic health remain ominous,” Edward Gregg, a diabetes expert with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted in South China Morning Post (SCMP) as saying.
In a report last year, Peking University nutrition professor Ma Guansheng reportedly said the problem of childhood and adolescent obesity in China were due to behavioural and environmental factors.
Children in China are believed to be eating more unhealthy food, at irregular times and are not getting sufficient exercise.
“Children can have meat or sugary drinks, but they need to consume them at a normal speed. They should also stop eating the moment they don’t feel hungry rather than full. The energy intake difference is huge,” paediatrician Ding Zongyi said, as quoted by SCMP.