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Chinese people getting taller and fatter: govt

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 17:50
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Chinese people are growing taller as the country becomes richer but they are getting fatter even faster, the government and state media said.

[BEIJING] Chinese people are growing taller as the country becomes richer but they are getting fatter even faster, the government and state media said.

The proportion of Chinese over-18s who were overweight stood at 30.1 per cent in 2012, up 7.3 percentage points over a decade, Wang Guoqiang, a vice director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a press conference.

The obesity rate had risen by 4.8 per centage points to 11.9 per cent, he said Tuesday - a two-thirds increase.

"The problem of overweight and obesity is rising sharply as the dietary make-up has changed," Wang said.

The average Chinese man weighed 66.2 kilograms (146 pounds) in 2012, he said, citing a government report on national nutrition and chronic diseases, with women weighing in at 57.3 kilograms.

Males have put on an average 3.5 kilograms over 10 years, the China Daily said Wednesday citing previous figures, while women were 2.9 kilograms heavier.

"Smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, insufficient physical exercises and unhealthy diet such as high salt and fat consumption are the main behaviour risk factors that trigger and worsen chronic diseases," Wang said at the briefing.

"Pressures brought by the rapid development and transformation of the economy and society on people's life and work have also caused impact on health," he added.

The average Chinese man was 167.1 centimetres (5.48 feet) tall, the figures showed, and women's average height was 155.8 centimetres.

They were up just 0.4 centimetres and 0.7 centimetres repectively from 10 years earlier, the China Daily report said.

The numbers made Chinese people "slightly shorter" than their neighbours in Japan and South Korea, the newspaper said, quoting Liang Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

A report published in The Lancet last year showed that 363,000 fatalities in China each year were linked to high body-mass index, an indicator for heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.

AFP

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