Six out of 10 Korean people think they are overweight and binge-eating shows called “mukbang” promote obesity, a survey showed Thursday.
According to the survey by the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) on the people’s perception of obesity, 80.9 percent of the respondents rated their subjective health status as “relatively positive,” 60.5 percent said they were “seriously or slightly obese.”
NHIS surveyed through phone calls on 1,991 adults aged 19 or more whose body mass index was 18 or higher, for 15 days from June 1.
Over 79 percent of the surveyed said obesity was a serious social issue.
Also, 61.2 percent said spectacular food images and food porno TV shows led people to gain excessive weight.
In questionnaires about daily lifestyles, the respondents said they spent 2.4 days per week on average for physical activities for more than 10 minutes that made them catch their breath with fast heartbeats. On a daily basis, they spend 1.4 hours for exercise on average.
The most popular transportation was vehicles with 63.1 percent, followed by public transit, walk, taxi, and motorcycle.
To a question of whether they thought the government was actively pushing policies to fight obesity, 33.7 percent said no. Thirty-three percent of the surveyed said expanding the infrastructure for exercise and walking facilities will be the most helpful policy to address obesity issues.
“With this survey, we were able to see that the public perceived obesity as a serious issue,” said Jeong Young-ki, director of the Health Promotion Division at the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The government would aggressively promote its comprehensive measures for obesity management to create an environment for physical activities, run customized obesity management programs, and encourage activities for raising awareness of obesity, he added.
NHIS President Kim Yong-ik said as the government established a higher governing body for national obesity management, it should strengthen cooperation with the private sector and local governments to communicate with the public well and to help all citizens experience health promotion services.
“NHIS should continue to search for its role to prevent the obesity of insurance subscribers,” Kim said.
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