Jul 22, 2011

chinese obesity

Are Vegetables and Exercise Causing Childhood Obesity in China? - The Atlantic

There's sort of a bizarre article in The Atlantic regarding obesity in China. It's weird because researchers found odd correlations between obesity and lifestyles generally regarded as healthy. Such as,
  • More vigorous exercise
  • Eating less candy/fast food
  • Less snacking
  • More fruit consumption
  • Higher parental education attainment
Some of these things like fruit consumption I don't think are healthy.  But eating less candy?  Weird results.

It's a weak study but one to keep an eye on. The data gathering approach is somewhat suspect. It's primarily based on self-reporting and we generally don't do that well.

I've said before that China is going to have a metabolic syndrom epidemic (worse than the US) on its hands in short order. Mainly because research seems to suggest Asians are more susceptible to insulin problems. This study has some facts to suggest it's a real problem already.
  • As of 2004 20% of Chinese kids were already overweight or obese
  • One-third of Chinese boys are overweight or obese
  • Back in 1985 only 2% of kids were overweight
"What strikes me most about obesity in China is that it's like watching the U.S. except in high speed," she says. "It took Americans many decades to get this fat, and it took them no time at all."

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