The number of adults considered to be obese in Taiwan has reached a 10-year high, with experts attributing the increase to the prevalence of food-delivery services and the automated conveniences of modern living, a study released on Monday by the Health Promotion Administration found.
The percentage of people aged 18 or older considered obese or overweight increased to 43.9 percent in 2018 from 38 percent in 2009, the study showed.
The study defined obesity as having a body mass index of 24kg/m2 or greater.
In 2018, 17.2 percent of adults in Taiwan were overweight and 26.7 were obese, up from 13.6 percent overweight and 24.4 percent obese in 2009, the study showed.
Of the nation’s overweight and obese adults in 2018, the study showed that 55.1 percent were men and 32.5 percent were women, while 25 percent of those aged 18 to 24 and 35 percent of those aged 25 to 34 were overweight or obese.
The prevalence of being overweight or obese, which increases with age, is often connected with lifestyle changes, the Taiwan Medical Association for the Study of Obesity said on Monday.
For example, people entering the workforce tend to be overworked, meaning that they are less active and eat at irregular times, it said, adding that the problem is exacerbated by the slowing metabolism that accompanies aging.
“The increase in obesity — a serious problem — is mainly caused by eating more and being less active. These days you don’t even need to step outside to buy food,” association director-general Hsiao Tun-jen (蕭敦仁) said.
In the modern era, several automated conveniences have also contributed to weight gain, such as the prevalence of motor vehicles and washing machines, robot vacuum cleaners and office building elevators, he said, adding that increased stress and lack of proper sleep also contribute.
Obesity is especially a concern in winter, when colder temperatures increase the risk of heart problems, and also in the summer, when people tend to drink more sugary cold beverages to beat the heat — which results in a vicious cycle, he said.
The sour drinks sold at most beverage shops, such as citrus fruit or plum drinks, are especially harmful, as often a large amount of sugar is added to overcome the sourness, John Tung Foundation Department of Food and Nutrition director Hsu Hui-yu (許惠玉) said.
People should make their own fruit-flavored iced teas using fresh fruit, instead of buying drinks from beverage shops, Hsu said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by