Obesity among the nation’s adults hits a 10-year record –

Posted: July 1, 2020 at 5:45 pm

By Lin Hui-chin and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

The number of adults considered to be obese in Taiwan has reached a 10-year high, with experts attributing the increase to the prevalence of food-delivery services and the automated conveniences of modern living, a study released on Monday by the Health Promotion Administration found.

The percentage of people aged 18 or older considered obese or overweight increased to 43.9 percent in 2018 from 38 percent in 2009, the study showed.

The study defined obesity as having a body mass index of 24kg/m2 or greater.

In 2018, 17.2 percent of adults in Taiwan were overweight and 26.7 were obese, up from 13.6 percent overweight and 24.4 percent obese in 2009, the study showed.

Of the nations overweight and obese adults in 2018, the study showed that 55.1 percent were men and 32.5 percent were women, while 25 percent of those aged 18 to 24 and 35 percent of those aged 25 to 34 were overweight or obese.

The prevalence of being overweight or obese, which increases with age, is often connected with lifestyle changes, the Taiwan Medical Association for the Study of Obesity said on Monday.

For example, people entering the workforce tend to be overworked, meaning that they are less active and eat at irregular times, it said, adding that the problem is exacerbated by the slowing metabolism that accompanies aging.

The increase in obesity a serious problem is mainly caused by eating more and being less active. These days you dont even need to step outside to buy food, association director-general Hsiao Tun-jen () said.

In the modern era, several automated conveniences have also contributed to weight gain, such as the prevalence of motor vehicles and washing machines, robot vacuum cleaners and office building elevators, he said, adding that increased stress and lack of proper sleep also contribute.

Obesity is especially a concern in winter, when colder temperatures increase the risk of heart problems, and also in the summer, when people tend to drink more sugary cold beverages to beat the heat which results in a vicious cycle, he said.

The sour drinks sold at most beverage shops, such as citrus fruit or plum drinks, are especially harmful, as often a large amount of sugar is added to overcome the sourness, John Tung Foundation Department of Food and Nutrition director Hsu Hui-yu () said.

People should make their own fruit-flavored iced teas using fresh fruit, instead of buying drinks from beverage shops, Hsu said.

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Obesity among the nation's adults hits a 10-year record -

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