We all love us an adorable little chubby-cheeked Chinese baby, but recent health reports have indicated a drastic rise in childhood obesity in rural China, particularly in the age group of 7-12 year olds. Using different measures of Body Mass Index (BMI), a survey conducted over 29 years of 28,000 kids in China's eastern Shandong province revealed that the percentage of overweight boys under the age of 19 had grown from 0.7 percent in 1985 to 16.4 percent, and in girls 1.5 percent to almost 14 percent, according to The China Post.
The rise of the child couch potato is contributed to a shift from the traditional Chinese diet to a more Western lifestyle, which is higher in calories and lower in fiber. The social and economical development in rural areas appears to have had a detrimental effect on overall health, as cheap fast food options become more appealing than Grandma’s cooking. Chinese children today are less active than their parents were, spending less time working and more time playing computer games and drinking sugary drinks. The World Health Organization warns (yet again!) that obesity increases risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, reports Shanghai Daily. That being said, let's be sure to make a concerted effort to make sure our children are eating healthy and happily. Here is a recipe for a delicious Couscous, Chickpea & Baked Beetroot Salad with a Spicy Mustard Dressing to get you started on the right track!
[Image Via The Catholic Catalogue]