American Health Habits Influence China

As a new study provides dramatic evidence of the effect of diet and exercise on cancer, China is in the process of adopting Americans' bad habits.


China is receiving a wake-up call on the link between obesity and soaring cancer rates.

At just 32, Liu Li is battling breast cancer. She's trying to radically change her lifestyle by rejecting fatty snacks she used to love, CBS News correspondent Celia Hatton reports.

"When I told my friends I had cancer, they weren't surprised at all and said 'Oh, you've got it, too?' It's very common," she said through a translator.

Breast cancer cases have spiked: up 37 percent in China's richest cities in just 10 years.

Studies predict 2.5 million cases by 2021.

"When China connected with Western countries, we imported their lifestyles too," explains Zhang Jin, the chief breast cancer surgeon at Tinajin Cancer Institute and Hospital.

Read more about the study.
Read about how the American diet is influencing London.

China's middle classes are dumping the traditional low-fat diet and ditching bicycle paths for the expressway.

There's a fear that unhealthy lifestyles will spread out of urban centers into China's rapidly changing rural areas that have rarely seen these types of cancer before.

Experts say there's an opportunity to turn things around by preserving a time-honored lifestyle some have prized all along, and that a growing number could benefit from.
  • Christine Lagorio

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