The United States is losing its lead to China in yet another arena. No not math, science, or GDP but obesity. China now has the second fattest population in the world behind the United States, according to new research.
Published in medical journal The Lancet last week, the study used 30 years of data collected from 1980 to 2013 to analyze weight, height, age, and gender relative to different countries in 183 countries.
The paper calls obesity “a major global health challenge,” and showed that over 28 percent of Chinese men and 27 percent of Chinese women are overweight or obese, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Interestingly this pattern was addressed in late 2013 when global health experts tried to help China with its obesity problem.
Some key questions are raised by the study, such as what does this mean for China, and why the sudden increase in waist size? The problem seems to be both cultural and economic. Many Chinese have put on weight with the bubbling economy, with increased wealth and a more sedentary lifestyle adding to the problem.
Also of concern is China’s controversial one-child policy, which has created an environment for kids to be spoiled, and potentially get fat.
As the world leader in obesity, America clearly doesn’t have the answer … Perhaps the solution lies with countries that have low obesity rates, like Japan or India … although it’s doubtful the Chinese government would want to ask Japan for advice!