Shanghai Students at Increased Risk for Myopia and Obesity

By Urban Family, May 17, 2019

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This article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.

By Yuzhou Hu

The rates of myopia and obesity are on the rise among Shanghai students. The culprit is a lack of physical activity and increased time spent on computers and phones, commented experts from the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control & Prevention, reports Shine.

The statements were made earlier this week at an event to mark the fifth National Nutrition Week, which aims to educate citizens about how to live a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about health issues among students.  

According to experts, 53.6% of Chinese youth suffer from nearsightedness. In Shanghai, the figure is even higher, although the specific figure isn’t given.

The increase of myopia may be due to a lack of physical exercise and increased time spent looking at electronic screens. The results of a research study conducted last year among students between nine and 24 show that 73.08% of students only participate in outdoor activities for two hours or less every week. At the same time, 34.06% of kids spent at least one hour watching TV and 11.73% of youth confessed to spend more than two hours a day on their computers.

201905/games-02-abd081-b15c61.jpegImage via Pexels

The lack of physical activity is a major cause of obesity. Based on the statistics from the center, the percentage of obese middle and elementary school students has risen from 11.35% to 18.27% in the past 13 years.

Suffice it to say, the increase in health issues among Shanghai students needs to be addressed. “It‘s not just the responsibility of families or schools to conquer the issue,” stated one of the experts. “The society, the government, schools and families should all join hands and intervene in kids’ habits of dining, exercising and sleeping.”

In August of last year, the Ministry of Education issued a plan to prevent and gain control over the rapid increase of nearsightedness among adolescents, which also requires to reduce the myopia rate by at least 2.5% by 2023. Currently, multiple departments in the city are working together and a specific plan will likely be announced later this year.

[Cover image via Baijiahao]

This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai).

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