Lose weight and earn credits: Chinese university students on course to trim down

Students graded on how much they shed during the year-long programme of exercise and controlled diet

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 4:22pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 9:25pm

A university in eastern China is offering an accredited weight-loss course in an attempt to tackle obesity on campus.

Fifty students have enrolled in the year-long course at Nanjing Agriculture University in Jiangsu province and were being encouraged to lose weight through a combination of regular exercise and diet control, Jiangsu Television reported.

Sixty per cent of each student’s grade would be determined by how much weight they lost, with full marks in the section if they could shed 7 per cent of their original weight, the report said.

China’s boot camp for fat kids helps tackle its big obesity problem

Lecturer Zhou Quanfu said most overweight students did not exercise on their own because they thought it was pointless.

“So to motivate them we have designed the course to have their weight loss directly linked to their marks,” Zhou was quoted as saying.

The course is open to students with more than 30 per cent body fat or a body mass index over 28.

The students must run on treadmills, record their daily food intake and upload photos of their meals to a WeChat group for feedback from nutritionists, the report said.

One student has dropped from 110kg to 84.5kg.

China on track to top the world in childhood obesity

Zhou said he first had the idea to start the course five years ago when he heard that 12.95 per cent of the students on campus were overweight.

Peking University’s School of Public Health projects that 28 per cent of children in China aged between seven and 18 – or almost 50 million children – will be classified as obese or overweight by 2030.