China is worried that the nation's expanding waistlines will translate into a surge of chronic health issues in the not-too-distant future. New stats suggest that more than half the adult population is overweight, with 34.3% deemed overweight and another 16.4% considered obese, reports the New York Times. As CNN notes, that translates to roughly 500 million people, more than the population of the US. The obesity rate in particular was raising alarms given that it rose from 7% in 2002 and 12% in 2012.
“The unhealthy lifestyles of residents is still common everywhere,” says Li Bin of China's National Health Commission. Among other things, he cited sugary drinks, the overuse of salt in oil in many households, and a general shift toward processed foods and greasy fast-food meals. Authorities are worried that diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension will become far more common unless people adopt healthier diets. (Read more China stories.)