时差N小时:预防肥胖要趁早

A recent survey conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) showed that one out of every four junior high school students is currently overweight. The survey sample included roughly 4,400 junior high students in Taiwan. It found that 35% of boys and 22% of girls are carrying excess kilos, setting themselves up for a host of future medical problems including diabetes.

One culprit is bad food. The survey also showed that soda and other sugar-based drinks are the choice of 80% of junior high school students at least twice a week. Exercise is a daily recommendation for children, but the survey claims 40% of kids in Taiwan are not even breaking a sweat three times a week.

Chairman Chuang Lee-ming of the Diabetes Association of the Republic of China says the time for action has come: "Prevention is more effective than treatment. Since we know that being overweight is one of the risk factors for diabetes in children, we should take the problem seriously."

While severely obese people are currently a rarity in Taiwan, the experiences of the U.S., Canada and much of Western Europe show that weight can sneak up on a population quickly. Taiwan should endeavor to nip obesity in the bud, before it's too late.

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