China, the world’s second-largest economy, is nearing the top in yet another size ranking as its population grows in girth.
And hot-pot meals have been fingered as the main culprit, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
The Lancet, a British medical journal, reported earlier that China has become the country with the second-largest number of obese people, 46 million, although it has some way to go to catch up with the United States, which has 78 million.
A report published by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on nutrition and chronic diseases in China earlier this year said mainland Chinese are facing increasingly severe health problems associated with consuming too much fat while not eating enough vegetables and fruits.
The report showed that 30.1 percent of men in the mainland were considered overweight in 2012, up 7.3 percentage points in the decade from 2002, while 11.9 percent were classified as obese, up 4.8 percentage points over the period.
It said Chinese culinary culture places a big emphasis on the use of oil and cited communal hot-pot meals as the main reason so many Chinese are becoming overweight.
Hot-pot meals often lead to an excessive intake of oil and salt, the report said.
Family doctor Betty Kwan Ka-mei said people often share a hot-pot meal in a large group, so the diners can easily overeat without paying attention to the amount of food consumed.
If the soup base and the sauces are also consumed, a person can take in even more calories, Kwan warned.
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