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New research shows abdominal obesity on the rise

By Wu Yong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-10-15 17:29
[Photo/Xinhua]

Almost one-third of Chinese adults face the challenge of abdominal obesity, or excess fat around the midsection, according to recent research published by Obesity Journal.

Professor Gao Runlin, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Fuwai Hospital, found the prevalence of abdominal obesity was 28.6 percent in men and 29.6 percent in women.

This means the number of adults with abdominal obesity was estimated to be 277.8 million. And they face potential health risks like heart disease and diabetes.

Obesity varied considerably among provinces. In general, obesity was higher in the northern and western areas of China, and lower in the southern and eastern regions.

Tianjin, Tibet, Beijing, Shandong and Heilongjiang are the top five in terms of prevalence of abdominal obesity.

The research suggests cold weather may lead to obesity in Northeast and Northwest China. And a developed economy may be responsible for high obesity rates in Tianjin, Beijing and Guangdong.

A stratified, multistage, random sampling method was used to obtain a nationally representative sample of 441,306 residents aged over 18 years from 31 provinces in China from October 2012 to December 2015.

Abdominal obesity was defined as a waist circumference exceeding  90 cm for men and 85 cm for women.

Besides the regional disparities, obesity varied greatly among different population subgroups in terms of age, alcohol consumption and family history of cardiovascular disease.

Experts suggest abdominal obesity is highly prevalent among adults. National health regulators should make obesity control and prevention a public health priority as soon as possible.

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