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Obesity Index for Chinese Adults Issued

China's obesity problem work group recently issued the first ever obesity index for Chinese adults, based on data analyses in the 1990s, according to an article published on "Popular Medicine" written by Professor Zhou Beifan with the China Academy of Medical Science.

Obesity is globally judged and diagnosed according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) -- body weight (kilogram)/ square of body height (meter)--recommended by the World Health Organization, but the result was worked out on the basis of western people and therefore not applicable to Asians.

Under the same calculating method China issued the result for its own folks, according to which one is overweighed when his or her body mass index surpasses or equals to 24, and obese when the index surpasses or equals to 28. Besides, a male gets abdominal obese when his waistline reaches or surpasses 85 cm and a female 80 cm.

Waistline is an important measurement for abdominal obesity, because it reflects one's abdominal adiposity, which has a lot to do with a series of metabolic disorders.

The body mass index increases along with the risks of getting stroke and coronary heart diseases. With the index increase 2, the risks for coronary heart diseases and stroke increase 15.4 and 6.1 percent respectively, the work group pointed out.

Once the index reaches or surpasses 24, one's more likely to have risks for high blood pressure, diabetes and hyperlipidemia at the same time, the possibility exceeds 90 percent when the index hits or surpasses 28. It should also be noted that the risks rise when one's index is within normal range but the waistline reach 80 or 85 cm. If the index is beyond normal range and waistline also passes 80 or 85cm, the risks for diabetes and coronary heart diseases would be extremely high.

( People's Daily June 21, 2002)

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