We have been exporting jobs to the Far East for years, while importing many goods as well. Unfortunately for China, they are importing one of our bad habits: Obesity. As Eastern countries continue to shift their economies towards capitalist consumerist models, their waistlines are paying the price.
More than a quarter of the adult population in China is overweight or obese. Only Mexico is growing their waistlines faster among developing countries.
Researchers blame changes in the Chinese diet, which is now including more eggs and meat and fewer vegetables and carbohydrates, and a shift away from physically demanding farm jobs to the sedentary service work sector.
If it continues to get worse, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the government does. It could be heavy-handed, given their approach to limiting family sizes.
July 18th, 2008