Chinese waistlines are doomed.
I’ve seen it happen in Central Europe: slick new Western-style marketing coupled with a bottomless array of junk food and fast food contribute to an epidemic that now sees the Hungarians, Poles, Czechs and Slovaks climbing the ranks of Europe’s most-obese nations, according to the World Health Organization.
Here, the vast majority of Chinese are svelte. But in terms of goodies, it almost feels like I’m back in the States. In one metro station, the intoxicating scent of Mrs. Field’s cookies lures commuters up the escalator. The supermarkets have aisle upon aisle of snacks, from America, Japan and all points in between. Vending machines and 7-11 stores are everywhere, with customers guzzling their sugary drinks and fattening treats.
And as I’m sitting here in the mega-mall Festival Walk, I spy the food court, where McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken enjoy capacity seating, with many customers afterward heading over to Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s for a couple of scoops. (Hooray, cookie-dough ice-cream!)
Long-term, I don’t know how Chinese metabolism can withstand the assault.
I’d get more sanctimonious about this if I weren’t about to head in to the multiplex, armed with my bucket of popcorn …