China's Expanding Life Spans—and Waistlines

Overweight students exercise in a gym during a weight-loss summer camp in Weifang of Shandong Province, China Photograph by Wang Zhide/ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Over the past two decades, China’s population has grown richer, older, more urban—and fatter. From 1990 to 2010, public health authorities in China made significant progress in stemming several of the medical challenges common in poor countries, including reducing childhood mortality and rates of infectious diseases. However, China’s population now faces additional health pitfalls exacerbated by urban smog, more sedentary lifestyles, and the rise of KFC and cheap fast food.

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