A typical 3-year-old weighs about 30 pounds. Xiao Hao, a three-year-old child from Guangzhou in South China, weighs 110 pounds more than that. He was recently expelled from several preschools because he is considered a hazard to the health of the other students.
Doctors are divided on the cause of Xiao Hao’s size. Many feel that he has a metabolic disorder, while others seem to think that he is a victim of so-called “Little Emperor” syndrome, an affect of the one child policy currently under law in China. They feel that the only child is a spoiled child and that Hao has been pampered, literally, almost to death.
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Some people will go to great lengths to lose weight. Some, more than others. As in, to the other side of the planet!
Three American men made the unusual decision to move to China in an attempt to shed weight at a fat-reduction clinic. In the process, they have become surprise local celebrities.
“The reason why I think it works here is that China is away from everything, all the stuff that I’m familiar with,” said Alonzo Bland, 33. He and brothers Walt and David Anderson, 56 and 50, have lived in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin since the middle of this year.
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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.