SEOUL, Mar. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — The obesity rate among South Korea’s primary and secondary school students has been gradually increasing due largely to excessive studying, lack of sleep and physical activity and the consumption of more unhealthy food, government data said Thursday.
According to the Education Ministry’s 2017 student health statistics, the portion of overweight or obese people aged six to 18 stood at 17.3 percent last year, up 0.8 percentage point from a year ago and up 6.1 percentage points from 11.2 percent in 2008.
Students consumed more fast food and less milk products, and skipped breakfast more, the data said.
Notable is that almost half of high school students sleep less than six hours a night.
A student commented, “It’s so natural for us to get fatter as we suffer from sleep shortage for studying, work out insufficiently, and are exposed to a lot of fast food.”
“I gain weight only as I sit on the chair all day long and deep into the night for studying at school and at home,” another student said.
School physical education classes should be extended, and education on healthy eating should be strengthened, he added.