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May 17, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Young people's diet a worry for experts

CONCERNS have been raised about the diet of Shanghainese in their 20s and 30s, after a survey found they eat at restaurants three times a week and have fast food or instant food more than twice a week.

The study, conducted in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, questioned 2,000 people in each city to study diet and lifestyle and look at early chronic disease prevention and control.

Obesity and chronic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes are closely related to diet, including the consumption of oil and meat, said Dr Cai Meiqin, vice director of nutrition department of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, which led the survey.

The survey found that the percentage of obese people rises along with age. Some 15.4 percent of Shanghainese in their 20s are obese, which grows to 32.7 percent for those aged between 30 and 39, 39.4 percent between 40 and 49 and 41.4 percent between 50 and 59.

If they do not adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, chronic diseases impact increasingly on younger people, experts warned.

"The survey found young people are more likely to dine at restaurants, eat fast food and instant food and eat at irregular times," Cai said.

"This could be a reason why more and more young and middle-aged people suffer hypertension, high blood glucose and high cholesterol."

The survey found young people prefer eating out and favor strong flavored food more than older people.

In Beijing, younger people like flavoring and consume more oil than other groups, while people in their 50s consume more salt.

In Shanghai, people in their 30s have the largest oil intake and people in their 20s like flavoring the most.

In Guangzhou, consumption of oil and salt grows with age, while young people eat more flavoring and sugar.

In Shanghai, only half of local people in their 20s, 30s and 40s eat at the same time each day.

"More education is needed to persuade young and middle-aged people to adopt a healthy diet," Cai said.


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