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Obesity targeted in national regulation
By Huo Yongzhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-18 05:32

Starting from the mid-1990s, a food nutrition programme has been launched in the schools of some of the large cities. Presently, more than 300,000 students consume nutritionally-balanced meals, every day from 50 enterprises and over 200 school-affiliated dinning halls in Beijing, and in Shanghai, the number is 150,000 from 30 enterprises.

"Proven expertise tells us that nutritional meals are the best solution in the fight against malnutrition and nutritional excess in schools," said Yu Xiaodong, director of the Centre for Public Nutrition and Development of China, a government-sponsored institution affiliated to the State Development and Reform Commission.

Regarding the founding of the national nutrition working committee, Yu announced that the new governmental department will combine all the nutrition and health functions from ministries of health, agriculture, education and development and reform commission.

Currently, the plan is still under discussion within the State Development and Reform Commission. "I do not care whether it will be a ministry or a department, but there should be one body in charge of the function," said Yu, but admitting that the plan is still in a preliminary stage and still requires more time to be completed.

Experts said that the plan could face many challenges, as presently the central government is reluctant to add more administrative departments.

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