Efforts to improve the nation’s diet are being hampered by fast-food giants who are expanding across the country
With an increasingly urban population rising disposable incomes and a growing demand for international cuisines it is no wonder that China is home to a high number of fast-food brands.
Of these KFC had planned to open 600 new restaurants across cities in China in 2016. Meanwhile McDonald’s aims to rollout 1000 new outlets over five years.
Starbucks with its frothy sugary offerings acknowledged that China could eventually surpass the United States in terms of market size for the fast-coffee chain and in October announced plans to double the number of its 2300 outlets in China by 2021.
All of that of course carries physical costs. Swelling waistlines are the most visible symptom. Even the state-run media outlet Global Times found that China now has the largest overweight population in the world – 10.8% of men and 14.9% of women in a nation of 1.4 billion people – bumping the United States to second place according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal.
That’s more than 43 million men and 46 million women classified as overweight. For children and young adults the numbers are even more dire: the World Food Program indicated that 23% of boys and 14% of girls under 20 are overweight or obese. The Chinese often see themselves as in a race with the US; in this they win.
Companies with emblems of golden arches and monochrome mermaids are not the sole perpetrators of this circumstance. Active lifestyles have not caught on and nutritional balance in daily diets is often askew. The ubiquitous barbecued lamb skewer for example found in any bustling neighbourhood or night market from ürümqi to Shenzhen bundles two-thirds of the calories found in a pack of KFC fries.
canbeanybody 3h ago
"Ted Cruz meets Taiwan president and fires his own broadside at China"
Never mind obesity or Ted Cruz Taiwan is and will always be integral part of China. Every organisation in China big or small may have its "president" but as far as China is concerned there is only one China which has recognition of virtually all earthling nations.
Ted Cruz may try hard or even call himself as the president of Ted Cruz thugs association but he is still unable to modify Chinese ownership over Chinese Taiwan island.
Angelaaaa canbeanybody 2h ago
That's the problem Sinobot. The Taiwanese don't agree ...
Keir01 4h ago
Chinese food is awesome - why do they eat KFC and McDonalds?
shanshuitianqi Keir01 3h ago
Believe it or not it is exotic and trendy. The young are quite taken by Western culture. Also the places are usually big have Wi-Fi and people are allowed to sit for hours. Students will study. Sometimes the poor will stay there to keep warm.
shanshuitianqi Keir01 3h ago
Well warm in winter cool in summer.
Hereabouts shanshuitianqi 2h ago
Have western foods really taken off so much or is the growing Chinese middle class just eating more?
I didn't really notice too much western foods with my in-laws in the south.
googrin drgle Hereabouts 22m ago
Just some hype created by stupid Guardian to bash China. The same thing applies to BBC CNN and the list goes on as long as they are western media.
What you see in RL such as your in-laws are reality. You may even want to go to other asian countries - Taiwan HK Singapore Thailand Japan Korea (all which have KFC decades earlier) - to see how often they eat KFC. Their consumption combined are still lower than America.
You also have to consider that the chinese are much more picky-eaters and diet-conscious compared to their western counterpart.
HHeLiBe 4h ago
Imagine if even one percent of the funds that are squandered on the War on Drugs were used for something useful like educating and regulating to counter obesity.