Nearly 25 percent of China’s population is obese or overweight, according to a report released on Friday by the British Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
The report showed that the number of obese and overweight adults in the developing world has more than tripled from 250 million to a staggering 904 million in 2008.
The ODI said that this figure has, for the first time, exceeded that in rich countries.
In China and Mexico, overweight and obesity rates have almost doubled, while in South Africa the rates rose by a third to be even higher than in Britain. North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America all have similar overweight and obese rates to Europe.
According to the report, nearly 25 percent of the population in China is obese or overweight. Although the rate is half that of Mexico, it is high enough to ring the alarm for the Chinese people.
Steven Wiggins, an expert working with ODI, said the change could be due to a higher income and more sedentary lifestyle in the affected countries, as well as an increasing preference for processed foods.
In September of 2013, China was projected to be the biggest consumer of processed foods in less than two years.
Likewise, “China is rapidly increasing its livestock consumption,” he said (half of the world’s pigs are in China).
In November 2013, China’s diabetic population swelled to over 110 million people, far surpassing US rates, according to CNTV. The population of obese or overweight young adults in the country has shown to have increased in recent years as well.