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Eat healthy and exercise more to avoid obesity!

04 March 2024


More than a third of people in HK are centrally obese

The Department of Health marked World Obesity Day today, March 4, by appealing to the public to develop a healthy lifestyle to avoid becoming obese.

The statement came with statistics from the Population Health Survey done in 2020-2022 which showed that 32.6 percent or nearly a third of people in Hong Kong aged between 15 and 84 are obese. That means, those with a body mass index equal to or greater than 25.

About a quarter, or  22 percent, are overweight while 37.8 percent are classified as centrally obese, or those with an excess accumulation of fat in the mid-section or abdominal area.


Men with waistlines of 90 cm and above, and women with a girth of 80 cm or more are considered centrally obese.

The DH warned, "Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders and sleep apnoea."

The survey conducted by the DH also showed the unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits of many people in Hong Kong.


About a quarter of persons aged 18 or above did not do enough physical activities, and a whopping 98 percent of people aged 15 and above had inadequate intake (i.e. an average of less than five servings) of fruit and vegetables per day.

To address this problem, the DH’s Student Health Service provides free annual health assessment service for eligible primary and secondary school students.

Through this service, it was determined that for the school year 2022-2023, 19.5 percent of primary school students were overweight, and 20.5 percent for those in secondary school.

World Obesity Day has been observed every March 4 since 2020 to encourage and support practical actions that will help people will help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the global obesity crisis.

This year’s theme of "Let's Talk About Obesity And...", is aimed at getting more people to acknowledge and talk about the growing problem of obesity all over the world.

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