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Half of men don't exercise regularly: Biobank

TAIPEI -- More than one out of every two Taiwanese men do not regularly exercise, according to data released by Taiwan Biobank, a research center, Sunday.

Bad health habits have led over 60 percent of Taiwanese men to have a body mass index (BMI) higher than the normal range of 18.5-24.

While women mostly fall within the normal range, 70 percent were found to have a higher body fat rate than the standard level of 20-27 percent body fat, the organization said.

Taiwan Biobank chief executive Shen Chen-yang further cited

statistics to point out that 50 percent of all Taiwanese were found to have excessively high levels of cholesterol, and one in every two people in the country has a glycated hemoglobin level (an indicator of diabetes) higher than the norm of 4-6 percent.

Shen said the figures mean that a large number of people are vulnerable to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. “They need to improve their diet and exercise habits,” he said.

Taiwan Biobank was established by Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top academic research institute, to trace the cause of common diseases in Taiwan through collecting voluntarily submitted personal health data.

Inaugurated in 2012, the biobank has so far collected data from 25,000 people including general health check results, interviews and samples of blood and urine. It aims to collect data for 200,000 individuals over 10 years, said Wu Chuan-yu, a public speaker on education and family relationships who has partnered with the organization.

In the future, the biobank will focus on research on Alzheimer's, hepatitis B and kidney failure, according to Shen.

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