Youngsters Get Fatter

  • By Lee Ki-hun

    December 14, 2017 12:21

    Obesity among youngsters is rising at an alarming pace. According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, some 16.5 percent of adolescents were obese last year, 1.4 times more than in 2007.

    The proportion of overweight boys in schools was a whopping 26.4 percent in 2013, even higher than the OECD average of 24.3 percent.

    Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 or above. But the proportion of obese adults with a BMI of 30 or higher was just 5.3 percent in 2015, the second lowest in the OECD. Among girls, 14.2 percent were overweight, significantly lower than the OECD average of 22.1 percent.

    Meanwhile, smoking and drinking in middle and high schools has dropped dramatically. The proportion of students who smoked at least one day per month was 13.3 percent in 2007 but fell to 6.3 percent last year.

    The proportion of youths who drank one or more glasses of alcohol a month was 27 percent among boys and 26.9 percent among girls in 2005, but the figures dropped to 17.2 and 12.5 percent last year.

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