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Military-style fat camps for kids in China

March 24, 2010

Is China  super-sizing its children as fast as its economy? One out of five Chinese children over the age of 7 is overweight, and nearly 10 percent are obese. ‘How did a country that struggled with starvation just half a century ago now finds itself dealing with an obesity epidemic?’

The problem is blamed on the booming economy, introduction of Western-style foods, a lack of discipline, and the spoiled Little Emperor phenomena.

Many of the chinese suffered of starvation throughout the Cultural Revolution. They believe their children should never eat bitterness as they did. As a result, they overfed their children as a way of expressing their wealth and love.

A researcher, Ding Zongyo, blames much of the increase on the economic boom. “When a poor person get rich, the first thing he does is gets better food. That’s a big driver of obesity.’

Zongyo states ‘The one-child policy led parents to overprotect their children. The behavior of grandparents are of special concern because they tend to overfeed their grandchildren because they think that being fat is a sign of the family’s wealth.”

The problem of overweight children has lead to the establishment of camps for obese children. At these camps children are disciplined under boot camp like conditions. They are given vegetable loaden meals and forced to endure rigorous workouts involving long distance running, calisthenics and kung-fu-style exercises.

Poor kids…

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