The number of overweight and obese adults in China is still growing, but not as alarmingly as in the past, when it was double the growth rate in Japan and South Korea, a senior health official said in Beijing on Friday.
Ding Gangqiang, director of the Institute of Nutrition and Health at the China Center of Disease Control, said the fact the conditions were still becoming more prevalent called for stronger coordinated efforts to tackle the problem.
"The daily calorie intake of Chinese adults is, on average, 2,172 kilocalories, higher than the suggested 2,000 kcal, pointing to the issue of over-nutrition," Ding said.
Data released by the health authorities in 2012 showed that 30.1 percent of Chinese adults were overweight, and 11.8 percent were obese.
"We still see an upward trend, but the growth rate has dropped in recent years," Ding said, adding that specific data on the current overweight population are expected to be released within two years.
The worsening adult obesity rate in China is part of a global phenomenon, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2018 report released jointly by five international organizations last month.
The report, launched in Beijing on Friday, says one in eight adults worldwide is obese — with the condition affecting 672 million people.
"If the rising trend of overweight and obesity continues, we might have a generation that is more obese than underweight," Fabio Scano, an coordinator at the WHO China office, said at the launch event.
The report says the number of chronically hungry people in the world grew to nearly 821 million last year, up from around 804 million in 2016. It was the third consecutive year of increasing food insecurity.
It added that under-nutrition and obesity coexist in many countries, and can even be seen side by side in the same household.