- Title: CHINA: CHILDREN SWEAT IT OUT AT A SUMMER "FAT CAMP" HOPING TO LOSE EXCESS POUNDS
- Date: 25th March 2006
- Summary: (L!1) BEIJING, CHINA (RECENT) (REUTERS) CHILDREN DANCING VARIOUS OF OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN DANCING CHILDREN'S LEGS MOVING OBESE BOY DANCING CHILDREN'S HIPS MOVING VARIOUS OF OBESE CHILDREN DANCING
- Embargoed: 9th April 2006 13:00
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: General,Health,Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA91FT9P1TITEF38JZ1TCNK57VG
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Chinese children sweat it out at a summer "fat camp"
hoping to lose excess pounds as the nation faces a growing obesity problem.
Some of Beijing's growing legion of overweight children are busy losing a few kilos at special fat camps this summer.
Instead of spending their school holiday sitting on the sofa with a McDonald's hamburger in hand, they are learning how to lose weight and keep it off.
Here, 33 overweight and obese children are isolated in a camp far from the city centre. They will spend 20 days here - hoping to lose weight by following a simple rule - eat less and move more.
At one time, empty bellies and poor nutrition were a feature of life in China. Not anymore. With rising incomes, food is increasingly plentiful.
Fast-food stores have proliferated, while China's one-child policy has given rise to a generation of the over-indulged.
"My mother tells me that I am too fat, so she sent me here. I didn't sweat much before, but since coming here I've sweat a lot which makes me feel like I'm losing weight," said Li Tianyue, a 10-year-old girl.
The camp is not just about losing weight. It also hopes to encourage children adopt a new and healthy lifestyle and avoid the potentially life-threatening health problems caused by obesity - such as hypertension and diabetes.
"We would like to ask them to form a good way of life in the space of 20 days and also make them understand that their lifestyle and eating habits are unhealthy," said coach Zhang Rui.
Chinese have more money and more choice when it comes to food these days. And western-style fast-foods - which are high in sugar, oil and animal fats, are increasingly fashionable among children.
At the camp, teachers try to break the bad habits by encouraging children to opt for healthy options, such as fruit, vegetables and fish.
Yan Chun has already lost three kilos after five days training. Soon, she hopes, she can slip into a beautiful new dress.
"I am studying in middle school, and my classmates are always laughing at me because of my fatness. They make jokes about it," said 16-year-old Yan Chun.
The proportion of obese children in Beijing has increased almost six-fold in 10 years.
But while the number of the obese mushrooms in China's booming cities, malnutrition still affects large number of the nation's poor.
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