Theres a good reason why marathons have become a fad in China and India. Of late with the number of overweight people outnumbering those that are underweight worldwide, its become popular to exercise and what better way to do it then out in the open with friends?
While marathons have mushroomed across South East Asia, so have crazy diet plans and the sales of sporting goods. This predominantly stems from the fact that people in China and India are excessively getting more obese. According to a study on Global Trends in Body Mass Index (BMI), published in the medical journal, Lancet, China displaced the United States as the world’s most obese country in 2014. The figures for China stood at 43.2 million obese men and 46.4 million obese women while the U.S. had 41.7 million obese men and 46.1 million obese women. A diet high on junk foods, crazy work hours, and a society that believes burgers to be cool can do that to a population.
It is to control the number of overweight people, that Beijing recently launched its first medical guideline to help overweight people get lighter. It is through principles that include a balanced diet, proper exercise and psychological consultation, the guideline says, noting that a healthy lifestyle is a long-term benefit. The guideline, developed by nearly 100 doctors and nutritionists will work systematically with select hospitals in large cities to establish special weight loss clinics to assist people to maintain health records, create personalised diet plans and provide proper medical guidance.
Diabetes is another slow killer affecting Indians and Chinese in equal amounts. While Indian’s have had an endemic problem with diabetes, a new WHO report mentions that nearly one in three adult diabetes sufferers in the world is in China. While China accounts for 19 per cent of the world’s population, it had more than 30 per cent of adult diabetes cases in 2014. Of the 422 million adults with the chronic disease, an estimated 129.3 million were in China, the Global Report on Diabetes, published on Wednesday, said.
While researchers attribute the rise in diabetes in China to an aging population, obesity is one that affects the young – however the root cause of both diseases is an unhealthy diet originating from a mis-aligned work-life balance. With pressure on the working population to perform better, long work hours and easy access to junk foods, China’s population is bread on two decades of processed, unhealthy foods. Migrating away from traditional Chinese foods has clearly not worked well for both Indians or Chinese!