If I tell you there’s a course in university that you can take to help you lose weight. Would you opt for it?
Be careful for what you wish for if you find yourself secretly saying yes.
Why? Because there’s one.
But there’s a catch. Lose weight and you’ll get better grades. Gain or maintain your weight and your grades would be affected.
Scary actually. I won’t risk it because I know how painful dieting can be.
Even a kitty knows.
Not that I really tried going on a diet but telling me NOT to eat my Calbee hot & spicy chips and drink my KOI milk tea with bubbles = killing me.
But this is happening in real life in China. To be exact, at Nanjing Agriculture University in Jiangsu province.
According to Jiangsu Television, 50 gungho students have already enrolled themselves in this year-long course where they will be encouraged to lose weight through a combination of regular exercise and diet control.
This won’t be easy for the students because 60% 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% of their original weight.
So let’t say I weigh 100kg. To get full marks for the course, I need to lose 7kg.
Okay, actually to be honest, it doesn’t sound so bad right? 7kg seems doable for 1 year?
Not really. Do you know how tough it is to move around if you weigh 100kg?
Or even find the motivation to run and eat lesser for one full year?
Yup, that’s what the students need to do: run on treadmills, record their daily food intake and upload photos of their meals to a WeChat group for feedback from nutritionists.
Nonetheless, I think this course is well thought out by Nanjing Agriculture University because being overweight is a serious problem in China right now.
Do you know that by 2030, it has been projected by Peking University’s School of Public Health that 28% of children in China aged between 7 and 18 – or almost 50 million children – will be classified as obese?
And closer to home, obesity is a big problem, too: according to a study, in 2024, 15% of us would be obese. That means if there are 100 people in your office, 15 of them aren’t just overweight – they’re obese.
Hmm. Obesity has its problems. Based on research from Stanford Health Care, you are more likely to have these risks (but not limited to):
- High blood pressure – Your body would contain additional fat tissues which requires more oxygen and nutrients in order to live. It forces your blood vessels to circulate more blood to the fat tissues. In turn, it poses a strain on your heart because it has to work extra hard to pump more blood through additional blood vessels.
- Diabetes – Or Type 2 Diabetes. If you’re overweight, your body might be resistant to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Rejecting insulin means that your blood sugar might see a spike and that’s dangerous. Now, this is something that the Singapore Government is working on overdrive to combat.
- Joint problems, including osteoarthritis – This is probably common sense. That extra weight puts stress on your hips, knees and and even ankles. You might not feel it now, but years later, walking might become a chore.
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems – You might find yourself not breathing for brief periods, which interrupts sleep at night and makes you a zombie during day time. It also causes heavy snoring. Respiratory problems happen because the added weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs and causes restricted breathing. Not sleeping well? That’s one heck of a problem, isn’t it?
- Psycho-social effects – Well, it affects one’s confidence. I mean, in a culture where physical attractiveness is looked upon so highly… being overweight is equivalent to having a sin. People who are obese are seen as lazy or not so ‘appealing’.
With that said, maybe Singapore’s universities should consider making this course available to the students here? 😉
Oh, wait. I just heard from my colleague: with IPPT and RT, maybe it’s not that relevant after all. Perhaps one for the girls? #justsaying