Non-Communicable Diseases Hurt Chinese Economy

Published on Author rhynem14

Although it may not seem directly related to the economy, the levels of non-communicable disease prevalence in China are, in fact, hurting the CAnti_smoking_campaign_in_Chinahinese economic health along with physical health.

Dr. Schwartländer, World Health Organization’s China representative, explained that the lack of exercise and high prevalence of smoking is leading to high rates of disease amongst the Chinese population. As of right now, little policy exists to help with these problems.

Dr. Schwartlander says that health complications resulting from smoking and lack of exercise   will have cost China $500 billion for the decade ending 2015. The most interesting and shocking statistic he provides in the WSJ article is that reducing cardiovascular disease rates by only 1%  per yearly 204o would save $10.7 trillion.

Many of the problems controlling these levels relate to the every-increasing speed of urbanization in China. This is particularly poignant considering the book we just finished on China’s urban boom. As the population moves to cities and ages, the level and concentration of disease increases due to the sedentary lifestyles.

Today, China has the world’s largest population of diabetics.

While the government could certainly implement some new policies to encourage healthier lifestyles, less smoking, etc, ultimately the individual is in control of his or her own health and lifestyle. Yet, the mass movement into the country’s cities has been shown to augment and perpetuate these problems.

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4 Responses to Non-Communicable Diseases Hurt Chinese Economy

  1. I noticed when I was in China that the only gyms were clearly made for foreigners, and I never saw any Chinese running for exercise. How can China encourage their population to get healthier? I also wonder if an anti-smoking campaign would hurt the nation.

  2. Second hand smoke can hurt others who decide not to smoke. As seen with the no smoking in restaurant legislation, smoking is a negative externality that can be stopped. By raising taxes on cigarettes both the Chinese Government’s coffers and smoker’s health would benefit. People would consume less of the product and therefore reduce the likelihood of getting cancerous conditions. Aligning external costs into decision making processes of people who buy the product can benefit everyone.

  3. Now that I’ve completed my term paper on marketing to the Chinese population, it seems like they could really use a boost to the marketing of exercise and healthy living as a LIFESTYLE. The Chinese have evolved to a favoring of lifestyle purchases despite their remaining distaste for blatant consumerism from the Cultural Revolution. If exercise could be framed as a means of living a healthier, more efficient and useful lifestyle, I bet we would start seeing gyms made for the Chinese rather than just for their tourists.

  4. It sounds to me like the Chinese are going to face a serious problem when it comes to handling cigarettes. In this sense, China really makes for an interesting case study for how much harm it inflicts on its environment with energy pollution and how prevalent cigarettes are. These are two issues the US and many Western Countries have dealt with over the past 30 years and China is going to need to come up with its own plan.