“In the last 30 years they’ve gone from famine to feast in just two generations,” explained British economist Paul French, who is soon to publish a book on China’s rapid weight gain.
“Availability and accessibility of food are both widespread now. People have more money, and they’re just eating more of anything.”
China’s one-child policy has exacerbated the problem amongst the country’s young people. Between 1985 and 2000 the rate of obesity in children jumped nearly 30-fold.
“One child has Mum, Dad and two sets of grandparents,” Mr French said.
“It’s what we call the six-pocket syndrome. All of that money is being lavished on one little emperor to whom nobody can say no. And it’s leading to a rising rate of obesity amongst children.”