Obesity in Asia

48.03.ChindiaRising

Although the obesity prevalence is still low in most of Asia, the incidence is quite high, especially in places that experience strong economic growth. This includes the urban areas of China and India, as well as large parts of the Arab world, such as Saudi Arabia and the wealthy gulf states.

There is, unfortunately, a very depressing pattern of economic growth and increasing obesity rates. Once the economy picks up in Asia and elsewhere where food used to be more scarce, these countries are very quick to establish the so called western lifestyle consisting of junk food, shopping malls, mechanized transportation, increased social isolation, and stress.

Another twist to the obesity epidemic in Asia is that Asians develop type 2 diabetes at a much lower BMI than caucasians, meaning that there is a very serious diabetes epidemic spreading across Asia as well. This is why Asian countries need to invest heavily into preventing new cases of obesity. 

If I were them, I would kick out the Western lifestyle junk and stick to their more balanced native foods, cultures and ideals. The longer these countries wait in introducing preventive measures, the harder it will be to succeed.   

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