China / Society

Beijing obesity rate hits new high

(ecns) Updated: 2015-06-11 15:38

Beijing's health commission and sports administration jointly kicked off a weight reduction campaign on Wednesday, calling on citizens to get rid of excess fat, as the Chinese capital's obesity rate set a new high last year.

Out of every 100 adults in Beijing, at least 21 are deemed obese and eight suffer from "apple-shaped" obesity, according to the latest statistics released by the city municipal commission of health and family planning on Wednesday.

The obesity rate for Beijing's permanent residents in the age group 18 to 79 rose to 21.9 percent in 2014 from 19.1 percent in 2011, the first time that the city had seen its obesity rate top 20 percent. Someone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 28 and 32 kg/㎡is classed as obese.

The rate of central obesity, dubbed "apple-shaped" obesity, has climbed from 35.8 percent to 38.1 percent in the city.

According to medical experts, central obesity occurs when excessive abdominal fat around the stomach and abdomen has built up to the extent that it can adversely affect health. There is a strong correlation between central obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Outside normal sleep times, adults in Beijing are increasingly adopting a sedentary lifestyle, with time spent doing activities that do not require much movement, such as sitting down to work, watching TV, reading, eating and playing mahjong or card and board games, increasing to 6.1 hours from 5.7 hours last year.

Remaining "static" for more than four hours a day can significantly increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, previous studies have indicated.

In addition, obesity is also on the rise among primary and middle school pupils. In the 2013-14 semester, the obesity rate of students was 15.58 percent, meaning at least 15 are obese out of every 100.

Childhood obesity can pose risks to development as well as health, health commission officials say.

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