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Obesity in China is mainly a problem for the children, says retail analyst and co-author of the book “Fat China” Paul French to The National. But after the kids, in the future, also the parents will suffer from overweight, like in developed countries.

The National:

Figures for Beijing last year published in state media showed that 25.6 per cent of 12-year-old children were obese. There is even a problem among the under fives, 17 per cent of whom are obese and therefore five times as likely to be overweight in later childhood.

“You don’t tend to see fat families. You tend to see the fat kid. The little emperor is fat. He’s having McDonald’s, and no one ever says no to him when he wants his Coca-Cola and biscuits. In the next generation we may see fat mums and dads with their kids,” said Paul French, co-author of a book published last year called Fat China, and publishing and marketing director of the Shanghai research agency Access Asia…

There are sometimes limited opportunities for children to get exercise at school, partly because some parents do not appreciate the importance of physical activity. Grandparents will commonly carry the schoolbag of their grandson or granddaughter.

“They’re supposed to do one hour of physical activity [at school each day], but the parents complain, ‘Why are the kids doing one hour of sport? – that’s not going to get them into Harvard,'” Mr French said.


Paul French

More in The National

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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