About 60 percent of adults in Beijing are overweight, and obesity, once the preserve of the West, is becoming more and more common among children, a city survey shows.
Beijingers are eating less rice and more fatty and high-cholesterol food, the city’s health bureau was quoted as saying by the Beijing Morning Post.
Western fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s and KFC have become popular throughout China, but the newspaper did not mention them by name.
“The result of the survey shows it’s quite crucial to intervene to guide the citizens to a rational style of eating,” Liang Wannian, vice director of the Beijing Health Bureau, was quoted as saying.
Boys of 11 and girls of nine suffered the highest rate of obesity in Beijing, it said without elaborating.
Last month, medical experts said developing countries, especially in Asia, must promote healthy lifestyles from childhood to halt rising obesity and heart disease.
Judith Mackay, a doctor based in Hong Kong, blamed the weight gain on more cars, more buses, more fast food and more sugar.
“Under China’s one-child policy ... one problem is that one child has become extremely precious, particularly boy children who become little emperors,” she said. “They tend to get fed an awful lot.”
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD