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Adolescent Obesity In China Is Associated With “Healthy” Western Lifestyle

July 11, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
In findings that run counter to patterns in Western society, teenaged boys from affluent Chinese families who are physically active and whose diet is rich in vegetables but not candy or junk food are more likely to be overweight. U.S. researchers looked at lifestyle questionnaire data from more than 9,000 Chinese middle and high school boys. Like Western teenagers, Chinese youth who slept and exercised less tended to be more overweight. But similarities ended there. Contrary to Western patterns, Chinese adolescents were more likely to be overweight: if they were boys; if they frequently participated in vigorous physical activity; and if they were younger rather than older. The findings suggest that “weight-related correlates might play different roles in Chinese culture than they do in Western cultures," researchers said.
Hsu, Ya-Wen, et al., "Correlates of Overweight Status in Chinese Youth: An East-West Paradox", American Journal of Health Behavior, July 11, 2011, © American Academy of Health Behavior
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