ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 13th, 2009 at 7:41 am

Korea’s Obesity Rate the Lowest In the OECD

Here is something that Korea can rightfully take pride in:

Korea has the lowest obesity rate among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Strategy and Finance Ministry said Sunday that the national obesity rate was three-and-a-half percent. The finding came after the OECD released results of a three-year survey on obese and overweight people aged 15 or above living in the organization’s 30 member states.

Japan had the second-lowest obesity rate of three-point-nine percent, followed by Switzerland and Norway, but the survey said Korea had more overweight people than Japan.

So who is the OECD’s biggest fat asses, yes you guessed it the United States:

The United States had the highest obesity rate with 34-point-three percent followed by Mexico, New Zealand and Britain.

The US is still the only country I have ever been to where if you go to Wal-Mart you are guaranteed to see people so overweight they need motorized carts to get around in.  When my Korean brother in law came and visited my wife and I in the US, he wanted to make a special trip to Wal-Mart just to see this because he couldn’t believe it when I told him that.  Sure enough we went to Wal-Mart and saw some jumbo sized people.  It is pretty sad when your country’s density of obese people becomes a tourist attraction.

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  • smoothbore
    2:17 am on April 13th, 2009 1

    Being too skinny is not healthy either. Ever hear of the One Food Diet? It was popular a few years ago in Korea.

  • Sonagi
    3:09 am on April 13th, 2009 2

    Few ordinary Koreans are underweight although many female entertainers appear to be.

    This OECD obesity survey appears every year and the results are the same, with English-speaking countries and Mexico at or near the top while Japan and Korea firmly occupy the last two spots.

    Among OECD countries, Americans spend a smaller percentage of their disposible income on food as factory farming and other mass production methods have lowered prices of meat and grain-based foods like bread and pasta. When prices decrease, consumption often increases. This is ridiculously evident in side-by-side photos of portion sizes. In 1970, the average American ate 3,100 calories a day compared to almost 3800 today, and we are probably less physically active with more people driving and fewer walking or taking public transport, which helps people in other countries stay fit.

    Another change in the American diet is increases in the consumption of both fat and refined carbohydrates. Low fat and low carb sides of the debate might be interested to know that the combination of fat and carbs is far worse than either alone, for the body has difficulty metabolizing both at the same time.

  • guitard
    3:13 am on April 13th, 2009 3

    Just personal observation from the last 25 years living in and out of Korea – Korean kids these days are a lot fatter than they used to be. Seeing a fat Korean kid used to be rare – these days you see them all the time.

    I think it's largely due to too much time spent at the computer or video game eating snacks.

  • kimchi2000
    5:16 am on April 13th, 2009 4

    i think white people are more likely to have the fat gene than east asians. i remember one of my white college friend was like 250 pounds or more. i ate much as him but he was obese and i wasnt. also, he didnt really eat that much either. his whole family was fat. i think his family has the fat gene.

  • Sonagi
    6:03 am on April 13th, 2009 5

    THE fat gene? There are diverse genes that regulate energy metabolism and fat storage. If you were eating as much as your friend, yet you weighed much less, then the difference in weight probably owes more to differences in physical activity more than differences in genes. Moreover, gene expression is determined by environmental factors. Even if one has a number of genes that predispose one to accumulating fat, those genes can be turned on or off depending on diverse environmental factors, such as type of food, duration and type of physical activity, sleep time, and stress levels.

    East Asians, in fact, are genetically predisposed to accumulating visceral fat around the organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat under the skin. The former is linked to metabolic syndrome and its related health problems like diabetes and heart disease. East Asians acquire those diseases at lower body weights compared to people of European ancestry. Americans have higher overall rates of these diseases because we are so much heavier and inactive.

    My father was obese all of his adult life and my mother overweight since she was a teenager. Two of my sibs are obese, two overweight, and one normal weight. The normal weight sib and I are physically active.

  • 80s 90s Troop
    7:39 am on April 13th, 2009 6

    Calories in, versus calories out. Just like a bank account. I once lost 15lbs in one week—during ROK ranger school.

    Another time I lost 40lbs in one month. I call it the "Coma" diet. I do not recommend it. Muscle lose is a bitch to recover from.

    Once the body is fat, it tends to remember it and attempts to stay that way.

    Less in and more out works well if your mentally able to do it. Most chunky-monkeys just don't care. Look in those walmart baskets sometime for evidence of that. And Yes, I could lose a few myself.

  • Pete
    10:51 am on April 13th, 2009 7

    Corn syrup replacing sugar in soda – need to pass a law against it.

  • 80s 90s Troop
    1:13 pm on April 13th, 2009 8

    Jees, another LAW? Lets just offer some education—for those that don't know soda is not good for you.

  • Big B
    12:28 pm on April 14th, 2009 9

    U-S-A U-S-A!

  • theotherguy
    6:43 pm on April 14th, 2009 10

    Wow I hope that syrup commend was a joke, really don't need to go into chemistry right now.

    And yes, if you want to see WHY east Asians tend to be skinnier then Americans (really 3.4% vs 33+%) just look at portion size and WHAT their eating. There isn't much fat and carbs in the average Koreans diet vs the average Americans. They tend to walk/exercise more then we do. And to top it all off… there is a HUGE pressure to be "thin" here vs American where "just accept yourself" is common. Put all three of these together and geez…

    I agree with the less in + more out concept, I force myself to eat less during times of less activity (winter / cold seasons) and more when I'm doing more.

  • Leon LaPorte
    7:48 pm on April 27th, 2010 11

    I remember 20 years or so ago, whenever you asked a pudgy Korean kid/teen whether their parents owned a butcher shop (or bulgolgi restaurant, etc) the answer was usually "yes" about 90% of the time.

  • Hannah Garcia
    7:16 pm on October 4th, 2010 12

    obesity kills people, lots of diseases are triggered by obesity`,.


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