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Doctors worried as Okinawan kids get fatter

Date Posted: 2003-02-28

Okinawan children are gaining girth at an alarming rate. Thatís the result of a study concluded by Naha City Physicians Association. The Naha City Board of Education commissioned the study, conducted over a period of one year. The results of the study were made public this past weekend.

According to the study, one of seven Okinawan children is overweight, one and half times the rate found elsewhere in Japan. The study warns that extra weight brings serious health issues including liver problems, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. All of these are already observed at school health checks.

The study found that of 3,550 nine-year-old children in Naha City, one third were over the average weight. Some 13.8 percent had a liver problem and 12.5 percent had elevated cholesterol levels. The reasons, say doctors, are pretty much the same as elsewhere in developed countries; too much to eat, the wrong foods, too many snacks between meals, no breakfast and late dinners.

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