A recent study by the Chinese Ministry of Education has found that the majority of China's college student population is physically frail. But what is the reason behind the fact that students are physically inadequate? Well, you've probably guessed it, the blame is on video games.
That's right, Chinese media and in part the MoE is saying that Chinese college students spend too much time studying and playing online games rather than exercising. To alleviate the problem, the MoE has set new regulations requiring students to score at least 50 per cent or higher in physical education classes in order to graduate.
In a 2010 study, researchers found the Chinese college student was physically "weaker" than years past. In 2005, it was found that Chinese city males aged 19-22 would jump 0.23 metres shorter than their country counterparts.
Researchers and media say that the internet culture could be one of the reasons for Chinese students being "frailer" now. Students have supposedly become more introverted, preferring indoor activities such as playing online games.
While there may (MAY) be merit to all of this, the contrary is also true. In reality changes in diet and the environment affect physical growth just as much as being "introverted". With China growing ever more affluent, the opposite is becoming true: Chinese people are getting bigger! In fact, in a report last year, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported that Chinese soldiers were getting too big for their tanks!
The same thing is happening in the US, where people are getting too big because of rising rates of obesity and the like, but in China it's due to nutrition. For example, here's Xiao Hao, who became internet famous in 2011 for weighing 62kg at only four years old (photo via Tencent):
It's also been found that Chinese people living in many of China's megacities are becoming obese at alarming rates. Most of China's universities are found in the cities. The prestigious Peking, Tsinghua, and Renmin Universities are all found within Beijing's city proper.
Changing lifestyles and diet are probably the real reason for the change in physicality. In a country where McDonalds and KFC deliver, it's a miracle I haven't turned into a giant slug, then again...I've always been a big Chinese person.
调查称大学生体质逐年下降 打网游多于运动 [He-Online via People's Daily] 我军官兵体格发生较大变化 [Chinese People's Liberation Army Daily] 62 million people in China obese, sparking fears of 'alarming' financial burden [SCMP] 教育部新规定:大学生体质不达标不发毕业证 [CCTV via Sina]
Picture: Vitchanan Photography/Shutterstock