At the Telegraph, Malcolm Moore reports on the increase in obesity among Shanghai’s schoolchildren, in the wake of China’s first competitive eating contest:
The latest report from Shanghai’s Jiaotong university said there has been a 25 per cent rise in obesity in Shanghai’s primary schoolchildren over the last decade, with 13 per cent now overweight and almost half of those also obese.
Officials have blamed China’s starry-eyed rush to emulate Western culture, the plethora of fast food now available, and the tendency of parents in one-child families to express their affection through food.
“The kids have a bad diet, a sedentary lifestyle and very little knowledge about sports,” said Paul French, the author of Fat China, a book exploring China’s changing diet. “Type II diabetes is a huge problem, and dentists are complaining that they are pulling second teeth in children as young as 12,” he added.
For more on the research and the growing problem of diabetes and other overweight-fuelled conditions in China, see Shanghai Schoolchildren Getting “Very Fat Very Fast” on CDT.
By contrast, China Daily reports that children in poor areas are “chronically underfed”, focusing on Cuihua township in Yunnan province:
News came to light that malnutrition was widespread among students in the poor county after an online post revealed that students at the elementary school can afford only two meals a day, mainly potatoes. One child said his biggest wish was to eat a watermelon, the post said.
Eight to nine students [at the township’s elementary school] generally share two dishes and one soup.