November 22, 2022 08:30
Three out of 10 Korean schoolchildren are overweight or obese, often as a result of lockdown.
According to analysis of 1,023 sample schools across the country by the Education Ministry, overweight or obese schoolchildren increased five percentage points since 2019 to 30.8 percent last year. The ratio was only 22.9 percent in 2016.
Fast food and sugary drinks are often to blame. The proportion of elementary schoolkids who eat fast food such as hamburger and pizza more than once a week rose from 68.6 percent to 74.4 percent over the same period, while that of middle schoolers increased from 78.7 percent to 81.3 percent and of high schoolers from 81.1 percent to 82.8 percent.
But a sedentary lifestyle also played a big role. The proportion of elementary schoolkids who surfed the web or played online games for more than two hours a day also jumped from 29.1 percent in 2019 to 37.8 percent last year, that of middle schoolers from 53.6 percent to 64.4 percent and that of high schoolers from 38.6 percent to 54.1 percent.
This also takes its toll on their eyesight. The proportion of schoolkids who needed glasses stood at 58 percent last year, up 4.8 percentage points from 2019.
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