S. Korea's adult obesity rate on the rise

PHOTO: S. Korea's adult obesity rate on the rise

South Korea's adult obesity rate stood at 30.8 per cent of all people over 19 in 2010 as people consumed more food and exercised less, a government report showed Monday.

The report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare said 36.3 per cent of all men were overweight last year, compared to 24.8 per cent of women. Obesity was high among men in their 30s and 40s, with numbers for women going up in their 60s and 70s.

"Roughly 42 per cent and 41 per cent of men in their 30s and 40s are overweight, while 43 per cent women in their 60s and 34 per cent in their 70s were classified as being overweight," the ministry said.

Overweight people are more than twice as likely to develop hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia, which is high blood cholesterol, compared to people at a normal weight, the report warned. Such conditions can lead to various types of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

The report also showed that obesity among men had risen steadily from 1998 through 2007, although the percentage for women has declined marginally in recent years.

Because obese people run higher health risks compared to those at a healthy weight, there is a need to control intake of fats, salt, alcohol and tobacco as well as set aside more time for exercise, it said.