Much has been made of the fact that obesity is becoming much more prevalent in China as people adapt Western diets and fast food outlets become ubiquitous in the big cities. But new research shows that the obesity epidemic in China is much different from that in the U.S., and will need to be treated with different methods. From the Wall Street Journal blog:
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, the difference between obese people in China and those in the U.S. is striking, suggesting that assumptions about obesity patterns in the West can’t be applied to China’s increasingly overweight population.
Researchers of the study, “Correlates of Overweight Status in Chinese Youth: an East-West Paradox,” zoned in on China’s adolescent population, looking at the relationship between such factors as sleep, diet, exercise and income on obesity among young people.
What they found: Chinese children raised in families with higher incomes and advanced education levels are more likely to become obese.
Findings of the study contrast distinctly with the obese populations of the U.S. and even Europe, where children and adults have waistline sizes that correlate to the degree of their poverty. Overweight American youth tend to be from neighborhoods where fresh produce is less available, from families with lower educational backgrounds and less knowledge of general nutrition.