According to a recent official study, obesity in Shanghai is reaching levels seen only in the United States and a few other Western countries.
Around 40 percent of adults in Shanghai are either overweight or obese, while one-fourth of the city’s residents do not get enough exercise, according to a report from the Shanghai Daily, an official newspaer, citing a Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau study.
“The rise in obesity among children and adults is very disturbing,” Li Guangyao, deputy head of of the Shanghai Health Promotion Committee. “It will lead to many health problems and should be given attention.”
Authorities warn that the so-called “obesity epidemic” will lead to diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related problems.
A report in 2011 found that the average weight of male residents in Shanghai increased nearly 2.9 kilograms, or seven pounds, compared with 2000. At the same time, the average waistline increased around 2.3 centimeters, or nearly an inch, according to a the Daily.
Zhao Bin, a 25-year-old worker in IT, told the newspaper: “I know I’m putting on weight, but I barely have any energy to move after a whole day working. I just want to throw myself into bed after dinner.”
Throughout China as well as Japan, the obesity rate stands at around 5 percent, according to the World Health Organization. But in major Chinese cities, the obesity rate soars up to 20 percent in some cities.
And even though China is one of the slimmest nations in the world, it actually has the most obese and overweight people in the world. Around one fifth of the approximately one billion overweight or obese people are Chinese, said a study by the British Medical Journal, or BMJ.
“It is fast catching up with the West in terms of the prevalence of overweight and obesity; disturbingly, this transition has occurred in a remarkably short time,” reads an abstract of the study. Overall, there are 184 million overweight people and another 31 million obese people in China out of a population of around 1.3 billion.
The United States has less obese and overweight people, but the percentage is much higher. According to Centers for Disease Control figures, 35 percent of the U.S. adult population is obese and the agency warned in May that by 2030, around 40 percent of Americans will be obese.