In an effort to stop, or at least slow down, China’s spiking obesity and diabetes rates, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is on a nationwide campaign to increase awareness of nutrition, and part of that is trying to convince people to eat less meat.
According to China Daily, in 2010 nearly 28 percent of people in China ate more than 100 grams of meat every day. The Chinese CDC recommends that men should eat no more than 75 grams of meat per day, and women should keep their meat consumption under 50 grams.
Wang Dongyang, deputy director of the Institute of Food and Nutrition Development under the Ministry of Agriculture explained on Wednesday that China couldn’t ensure a plentiful food supply until the late 90s, after which people tended towards “compensatory consumption,” which was marked by consuming more animal products than necessary. Wang said that pattern of consumption could easily last through the 2020s.
The National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety said animal consumption tends to increase with economic development.
“We Chinese should try avoiding that kind of overconsumption, which poses public health challenges as well,” said researcher Yang Yuexin.
In 2010, more than 30 percent of Chinese people over the age of 18 were considered overweight, and the national obesity rate was 12 percent. 260 million people were suffering from weight-related chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. But while meat consumption has been rising overall, the National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety says that increasing health awareness has led to a stabilization or even decline in meat consumption in major cities.