China is getting fatter: survey

Updated: 2013-08-05 16:55

By Sun Xiaochen (

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Chinese people between the ages of 20 and 39 are increasingly becoming overweight while their athletic abilities are declining, according to a recent national survey.

Nearly 34.4 percent of Chinese adults between the ages of 20 and 69 are overweight, while 11.1 percent of young adults from the ages of 20 to 39 are not only obese but have on average added 1.92 kilograms to their weight since 2010.

The State General Administration of Sport released the results from its 2013 national physical condition survey on Monday. It surveyed 43,629 adults from 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities for two months.

The survey also found that waistlines and hiplines have blown up across all age groups, especially among young men and middle-aged women in urban areas.

Young adults are also seeing a drop in their ability to grip something and jump or sprint, indicating a decline in strength and flexibility.

The GASC also released the results of the national mass fitness activity survey, which analyzed more than 1.6 million valid data culled from 30 cities on the mainland.

According to the results, young adults (between the ages of 20-39) are the least physically active among the three age groups. The report said most cited a lack of time due to overloaded work schedules.

The report did have some encouraging news. Overall, public participation in fitness activities has grown, with 32.7 percent of those polled doing intense exercises more than three times a week, up 4.5 percent since the last survey in 2007.

A higher enthusiasm for exercising was reflected in an increasing demand for public sports facilities and a diversity of daily-exercise events.

More than 38 percent of people surveyed have been exercising at public sports venues, such as community and municipal sports facilities. Still, 9.6 percent of regular exercisers (who exercise three times a week) claim more needs to be done to develop public sports facilities.

The proportion of people who are participating in basketball, soccer and swimming in their daily exercise routines has increased while the number of people walking and running is declining.