A third of South Korean people are obese, causing Asia's fourth-largest economy to shoulder nearly 7 trillion won ($6.12 billion) in social costs every year, the government said Wednesday.
Also, some 25 percent of boys aged between 5 and 14 in South Korea suffer from obesity, compared with an average 23 percent for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The percentage marked the highest number among Asian countries.
People whose body mass index reaches 25 kg/㎡ or over are considered obese.
The ministry said it will stage a nationwide campaign to reduce the obesity rate by encouraging people to eat more fruits and vegetables.
An average South Korean eats 198.3 grams of fruit per year, far lower than the recommended minimum of 300 g. (Yonhap)