You would not think it looking at him, but President Ma Ying-jeou is a mere 1kg away from being labeled as overweight.
The 62-year-old, who is 1.77m tall, weighed in at 74.7kg at his annual health check-up last week.
This put his body mass index (BMI) - weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters - at 23.7.
In Taiwan, people with a BMI of 24 are considered overweight and at "moderate risk" of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
While the World Health Organization has suggested a BMI of 25 be used as a cut-off point for overweight, Asian countries tend to adopt a lower value because Asians have a significantly higher percentage of body fat for the same BMI when compared to Caucasian populations. The cut-off point for Singapore and Japan, for instance, is lower at 22.9.
The Taiwanese are heavier than their counterparts in Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, China and India, a senior Taiwanese health official noted last week at an international health conference in Taipei.
Fully 44 per cent of the island's 23 million people are overweight or obese, according to Chiou Shu-ti, head of the Bureau of Health Promotion.
The men are especially at risk: 51 per cent are either overweight or obese.
The obesity rate - where the BMI is 27 or more - among males is 19.2 per cent, said Chiou, far higher than in Singapore (6.4 per cent), Thailand (4.7 per cent) and Malaysia (4 per cent).
Said Chiou: "Westerners used to call us the sick man of East Asia. Now, we're fast becoming the fat man of Asia."
Less than a generation ago, in the 1990s, only some 33 per cent of Taiwanese were considered overweight or obese. Obesity is a global epidemic in an increasingly sedentary world and the International Association for the Study of Obesity reckoned that at least 1.6 billion adults were overweight or obese in 2010. In Taiwan, numerous factors contribute to the number of growing girths.
Night markets peddling local favorites like deep-fried chicken cutlets, oyster omelets and milk tea with tapioca balls are as much a tourist draw as their high-fat fare. Convenience stores offering quick, microwave meals are literally a hop, skip and jump away for most urbanites.
Taiwanese love their non-homecooked food so much that a survey last year by MasterCard showed that they prefer eating out to other leisure activities such as Web surfing or shopping, more so than consumers in 13 other economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
CNN even branded Taipei the city of gluttony.
In President Ma's case, the avid jogger had gained 1kg in the past year, after eating countless box lunches while on the election campaign trail, as well as having to finish the food his supporters had taken to him.
Eating habits aside, the exercise rate in Taiwan is among the lowest in Asia. Only 31 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women exercise at least three times a week.
Dr Pan Wen-harn, a research fellow at Academia Sinica, said about 10 per cent of total health spending in Taiwan is now related to obesity.
"About 60 per cent of people who are overweight have some form of health problem, such as hypertension. For those who are obese, nine out of 10 are at risk," said Dr Pan.
"Put it this way, if all fat people become slim, we would be able to cut our health expenditure by 10 per cent," she said, adding that obesity is a ticking time bomb.
"We have to change our lifestyle," she said.