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Survey: 70% Want to Be Thinner

Obesity has taken the place of famine as one of the Chinese' top concerns, according to a survey conducted from May 9 to 13 by China Youth Daily. It said that about 70 percent of people want to be thinner.

The survey collected 3,858 responses in China's 33 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, including Hong Kong and Macao, and had 54.8 percent women participants and 72.4 percent youth aged from 20 to 30.

Figures from the Health Ministry show that 200 million Chinese will be overweight in 10 years, more than 160 million Chinese will have high blood pressure and 20 million will suffer from diabetes.

The proportion of overweight adults in China has jumped by one-third, to 23 percent, since 1992.

About 51 percent of people said they lost weight for their health, though others said they cared more about their appearance.

"I tailor my body for those beautiful clothes in shop windows, which should be tailored for me," said Xiao Wei, a college student in central China's Hubei province, noting that slimness dominates today's fashions.

Some 45.6 percent of people said they feel diffident because oftheir weight, especially women and young people.

The Chinese are getting more obsessed than ever with losing weight. The losing weight BBS in one of China's portal webs, sohu.com.cn, has enjoyed great popularity in past five years. A story titled "How I lost 20 kilograms in half a year" has been clicked-on more than 170,000 times, and 12,000 people have left comments about it.

About 6.7 percent of people in the survey said they diet for their jobs.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2005)

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