Culture, Conflict, and Cuisine in China

Fat shaming in Asia has to stop - it's time parents and teachers changed their attitudes towards weight

A blog from one of our collaborators, as featured in the South China Morning Post.

One of our collaborators, Steph Ng, recently published an article in the South China Morning Post about the impact of pressure to be thin on young women in Asia. In her article, Steph draws on her own experience growing up in Hong Kong to describe the unique eating disorder risk factors that affect children who grow up in Chinese families, such as the conflict between modern beauty standards that idealize thinness and a traditional culture that values weighing more as a sign of wealth and health. Growing up with these conflicting pressures can make mealtime a cultural food fight: Should I eat less in order to be thin, or eat more to please my family? Children grappling with this cultural conflict may be less likely to listen to their bodies’ internal hunger and satiety signals, leaving them at greater risk for developing an eating disorder. Steph urges parents and teachers in Asia to change their attitudes toward weight so that children can grow up with a healthy approach to eating. 

Want to learn more about the relationship between Chinese culture and disordered eating?

Click here to read Steph’s article!