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June 6, 2012

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Kids' obesity rate drops for first time

THE obesity rate for Shanghai children dropped for the first time, according to a report on the health of the city's elementary and secondary school students, released yesterday.

Last year about 16.9 percent of Shanghai children were reported as obese, or very overweight - a 0.6 percent drop from 2010. Nearly 40 percent have normal weight and the rest are classified as either overweight or underweight.

Though the decrease in obese children is fractional, education authorities are nonetheless pleased as it signals "the growing trend of obesity has been reversed."

"The condition of students' health has improved since the high school entrance exam includes the sports test," as it has since 2008, said Wang Congchun, an official with the Shanghai Education Commission.

For a long time, local students have sacrificed their exercise time and sports classes to do more homework in order to improve their scores in exams and get into better schools.

Students' health was getting worse, so the city included a 30-point sports test in the high school entrance exam in 2008. Students must exercise to get into high schools, improving their health.


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