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School Feeds Kids Based On Their Weight

REUTERS/Joe Tan

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A school in China has decided to feed kids based on how fat they are.

At a kindergarten in Jiading district, Shanghai, overweight kids get vegetables, and underweight children get milk and meat, reports the Xinhua News Agency.

For the past week, the menu for overweight kids included cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, and pumpkin. Underweight children were offered eggs, milk, meatballs, and biscuits.

The meal differentiation program is based on health considerations, Wang Yaqin, the director at the kindergarten, told reporters.

Obesity is a growing problem in China, which is home to more obese people than the U.S. since 2014, according to The Lancet. That year, one-in-six male children and one- in-11 female kids were obese. For the nation as a whole, 28.3 percent of the population was obese.

Over the past 30 years, child obesity in China has exploded. The number of obese children is up 17-fold for males and 11-fold for females, a three-decade study revealed.

“It is the worst explosion of childhood and adolescent obesity that I have ever seen,” Joep Perk, the cardiovascular prevention spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, told the South China Morning Post.

Most parents are reportedly in favor of the meal differentiation program, however, some parents are concerned that putting emphasis on children’s weight may cause psychological problems.

It is important for teachers and parents to teach their children about healthy living earlier, but discriminating against certain students because of their weight can cause psychological damage, Liu Yeping, an associate professor in the Counseling Center at Shanghai Jiaotong University, told reporters.

“It is good for my overweight child to eat more vegetables…Obesity brings too many problems,” one of the children’s parents explained to reporters.

China is actively trying to combat obesity. The country even introduced a national fitness plan in June to encourage Chinese people to eat less and exercise more.

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