Obesity: A Growing Problem in China

Chengjun Sun*

Obesity: A Growing Problem in China.

Obesity also damages productivity. Obese people move slower and are sick from work more often due to complications of diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Unfortunately, at present, nearly one-third of the world’s population is obese or overweight, i.e., 2.1 billion.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that even though undernutrition and infectious diseases dominate the current public health concerns, obesity would soon become the
most significant cause of poor health. In China, 10.8% of men and 14.9% of women of 1.4 billion people are overweight by 2016, which is the largest number of overweight people in the world. China’s obesity has outpaced the economic growth. Beside urban areas, obesity rates in rural China are skyrocketing. For instance, in rural Shandong province, the rate of obese and overweight boys
jumped from 0.5% in 1985 to 30.7% in 2014; in girls, the percentage increased from 0.8% to 20.6% over the same period.

Obesity is a public health problem considering its prevalence, costs, and health effects. Funding, innovation and an understanding the link to overnutrition are key elements in winning the
battle. Governments should take the lead in dealing with obesity problems. Regulations against related advertisements should be enacted; national tax can be implemented on certain products (e.g., soft drinks and processed food) to reduce consumption; awareness about healthy eating, exercise and the danger of obesity should be promoted; and all related institutions should get involved. A measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of the person’s height (in meters). 

Obes Res Open J. 2018; 5(1): e1-e2. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-5-e013