Proportion of overweight and obese students in China sees an annual decline since 2016
Published: Apr 26, 2021 12:21 AM
Coach Paulo from Portugal teaches a football class at a school in Shanghai. (Photo: Yang Hui/GT)

Coach Paulo from Portugal teaches a football class at a school in Shanghai. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

The proportion of overweight and obese students has seen an annual decline from 2016 to 2020, said China's top education authority on Sunday.

This downward trend is a result of the efforts from the State Council to improve the physical health of students in China by conducting a series of measures in schools, according to China's Ministry of Education during a press conference.

Thanks to those measures, the overall physical health of the students across the country is on a positive trend , the ministry said.

During the press conference the ministry also indicated that a total of 95 percent schools in the country can provide their students with physical exercises for at least one hour each day. Sports such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis have been introduced into students' daily exercise.

The ministry also made a further move to improve the health of students by asking that the physical education classes should not be cancelled or be replaced with other school subjects. 

Although the country has seen an annual decline of overweight and obese students, a survey monitoring the physical health of more than 1.15 million school students shows that the number is still beyond 10 percent in the elementary and middle schools in 2020, according to a report published by the Yangtse Evening Post on Sunday.

According to the report, Wang Dengfeng, Director of the Department of Sports, Health and Art from the Ministry of Education, said that there are still many problems among students during their physical exercises. 

"The pressure of schoolwork plus the lack of physical exercise may cause the deterioration of students' physical conditions. What we need to do is to help them develop a habit and live a healthy life during elementary and middle school," said Wang.

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