Preventing Childhood Obesity: China’s Next Great Health Challenge?

Crop of Children with various body composition...

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Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
Institute of Medicine
The National Academies Press
October 2011

As a nation that is still developing and remains largely poor, China has not yet had to contend with the challenge of early childhood obesity. A walk along the shopping avenues in Beijing or Shanghai during a national holiday, watching prosperous urban parents walking with their youngsters, is enough to make one realize that China’s reckoning with fat kids is coming, and right soon – at least for prosperous urban dwellers.

The United States is already dealing with a serious early childhood obesity problem, a matter that affects not only parents and health officials, but physicians, child care providers, and the folks in charge of providing children with lunches and meal programs. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science has produced a blueprint to prevent and reduce early childhood obesity.

China’s Ministry of Health would do well to tap this resource. As fast foods proliferate and diets in China get richer, children here will start to face the same challenges as their counterparts in the US.

One thought on “Preventing Childhood Obesity: China’s Next Great Health Challenge?

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