Obesity rates in affluent Chinese areas are starting to rival those of the U.S.
Teachers in China’s capital, Beijing, are now being held responsible for their overweight students in an attempt by authorities to reduce the obesity crises in China.
Beijing primary and secondary schools saw an increase of 5.6% in obesity rates over the past five years to 15.6%, according to the Beijing Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (BCDPC).
As a result of trial projects that took place earlier this year, BCDPC has now stated that “every teacher” across Beijing’s 16 districts will now be “responsible for obesity prevention and control”. Penalties for noncompliance have not been declared.
“The local Center for Disease Control will cooperate with school clinics to carry out the trial projects. They will evaluate obesity status according to the results of physical examinations, and warn the schools which have fast obesity growth rates.”
China’s rapid economic growth over the past 30 years has resulted in an increase in living standards, with more meat, dairy and sugary snacks replacing what used to be a diet that was low in meat but high in grains, soy and vegetables. Furthermore, China’s one-child policy has exacerbated the problem as many ‘little emperors’ are doted upon and are thus often chubby. Dr Peymane Abad said that grandparents “want to spoil their grandchildren so they give them food as a form of love”.
According to Time, one sceptic on Weibo claimed that schools will not be able to control a child’s diet if the problem stems from being spoiled at home,
“Kids have PE classes at school and sports practice, but when they come home they eat fatty meat, soft drinks, ice cream, cakes, cookies and chips,So how can they keep fit?”
The University of Washington claimed that 23% of Chinese boys and 14% of girls under 20 are either overweight or obese, according to one of its studies. However, China’s weight issues are also prevalent in its adult society. The study showed that 46 million Chinese people are obese and 300 million are overweight. china’s rural communities are amongst the worst affected according to a study in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.