March 28, 2019 13:46
One in every four schoolchildren is overweight or obese in Korea, alarming 2018 data from the Education Ministry on Wednesday show. The percentage has risen to a record high since 2006. In the previous year, it was 23.9 percent.
The ministry surveyed 107,954 youngsters at 1,023 schools across the country.
The average weight of sixth graders was 49.1 kg for boys and 46 kg for girls. That of ninth graders was 64.6 kg and 55.4 kg, and that of 12th graders was 71.3 kg and 57.5 kg. Only 12th grade girls lost a little weight by 300 g, while all the others got fatter.
The ministry blamed fast food and lack of exercise. The rate of schoolkids who eat hamburgers or pizza more than once each week shot up to 66 percent among elementary schoolkids, 78 percent in middle school, and a galumphing 81 percent in high school.
When it comes to exercise, only 59 percent of elementary schoolkids said they did intense workouts more than three days a week as recommended, compared to an even lower 35 percent among middle schoolers and 24 percent among high schoolers.
That schoolkids are getting fatter is borne out by the fact that they are not getting taller any more. The average height of sixth grade boys has stagnated at 152.2 cm and that of girls at 152.2 cm. Among ninth graders, boys were 170.2 cm tall on average and girls 160.3 cm. And by 12th grade they reached 173.8 cm and 160.9 cm.
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