Obviously, as Wang Yi would point out, things have improved a great deal in China in the past four decades, you can even tell by looking at how tall the kids are these days.
Every 10 years since 1975, Chinese health authorities have surveyed the heights and weights of kids under seven years old. The most recent study was completed last year and confirms what parents have been thinking — these kids are growing like weeds! At least comparatively speaking.
In the 2015 survey, the National Health and Family Planning Commission found that boys aged 5 to 5.5 years old measured on average 113.6 cm, that’s 1.7 cm taller than in 2005 and a whopping 8 cm taller than in 1975. Same result for the girls of the same age, who recently measured on average 112.5 cm, 1.8 cm taller than in 2005 and 8.2 cm taller than in 1975, Xinhua reports.
These figures surpass the child growth standards set by the World Health Organization. Congrats, China!
Of course, kids in China aren’t just growing up, they are growing out. Boys and girls respectively weigh 3.7 and 3.28 kilograms more than their counterparts 40 years ago. While, of course, having malnourished kids is awful, Chinese authorities also fear they may have gone too much the other way. According to a recently-published 29-year-long study, childhood obesity rates are exploding in rural China (thanks to junk food from the West), helping China to surpass the US as the country with the most obese people in the world.
Back in 2014, another survey found that Chinese teenagers were lagging behind their Japanese counterparts in height and were in need of more exercise. These kids really need to take after their grandparents more.