London, Aug 10 : Despite hopes that the 2008 Olympics would instill a healthy new appetite for sport lovers, the event has been able to inspire only one form of exercise among the people in Beijing: reaching for the remote control.
According to a new survey, more than a quarter of China's 1.3 billion people have now officially been classified as overweight or obese.
And the excuse given for this 'phenomenon': Peoples' Republic has spent vast amounts of money hot housing individual athletes through intensive training programmes and has not spent much on public sporting facilities.
Due to which China is home to what could one day become the 'world's largest army of couch potatoes' - their ranks boosted an increasing fondness for Western junk food.
Experts are predicting that obesity can double by 2028, posing a serious threat to China's health system and putting a brake on the country's economic growth.
"The impact of poor diet, inactivity and obesity on medical costs, labour productivity and national production are very large," Telegraph quoted the author of the study Barry M Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina's Population Centre, as saying.