Health

Health

Human placenta is thriving on Chinese black market
An investigative report has found a thriving black market for an ingredient believed to have healing properties in China despite being illegal for over a decade.  Human placenta, who people buy fresh to either cook and eat, or process into traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is thought to help people strengthen their immune system, treat various illnesses and improve reproductive health.  According to a report from the news portal Thepaper, the trade in illegal placentas is mainly based in Bozhou in the southeastern province of Anhui, Pizhou in Jiangsu in the east, and Yongcheng in Henan in central China.  Traders collect placenta for about US$12.30 each from hospitals, medical waste plants
Golf may be a wellness secret for China aging population
As China’s population continues to get older, one sport could help the country age gracefully, and its citizens live a bit longer: Golf.   In February 2020, research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference revealed that golfing at least once a month is linked to a lower risk of death among older adults. Researchers followed nearly 5,900 adults aged 65 and up for a decade and found that regular golfers, playing at least once a month, were more than 8% less likely to die from any cause than non-golfers. It even helps with mental health. Winnie Teoh always feels good after a game of golf with friends. “It’s not just a fun way to stay fit,” said the semi-r
Chinese vaccine drive needs to win over Beijing public health workers
Less than three-quarters of public health workers in Beijing said they are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine, which is the lowest number in China.  A survey by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that in other parts of China – such as Shandong, Sichuan and Hubei provinces – the rate of people willing to get the jab was nearly 90%. Just under 74% of health workers in Beijing said they want to get vaccinated. The survey also found that people with higher education were less willing to get vaccinated. The researchers said it was not clear why CDC workers in Beijing were the most hesitant to get vaccinated, though they suggested the staff perhaps felt they were less a
Chinese births fell 15% during pandemic-hit 2020
Just over 10 million babies were registered in China’s birth registration system last year, raising concerns that the country’s demographic crisis is no longer an issue that is on the horizon.  “The collapse of the newborn population is really here,” said James Liang, a research professor of applied economics at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, in a blog post last week. Concerns over China’s population’s outlook have grown after the number of newborns recorded in the country’s household registration system declined 15% during a coronavirus-hit 2020. According to figures released by the Ministry of Public Security on Monday, the 10.035 million newborns recorded in 2020 b
Chinese New Year delights with a vegan twist
While Chinese New Year may be a more subdued affair this year, food will still play a central role – even for vegans.  For non-meat-lovers, the menu options to celebrate the Year of the Ox have become more interesting than ever, as chefs aim to create delicious and healthy vegetarian alternatives.  From festival casseroles and vegan poon choi to cakes and pastries, restaurants and food retailers have created an array of culinary delights.  Here’s the Inkstone rundown of some of the best offerings available for vegans. Traditional festive cakes Hong-Kong based retail grocery chain Green Common has developed three vegan Chinese New Year cakes, including turmeric and oat milk and chestnut ca
China aging population accelerating in some regions
The world’s most populous country is facing a looming demographic crisis, with new data showing the birth rate in some regional areas of China dropped by more than 30% compared to 2019. The figures signal a potential economic and political catastrophe for China’s future as it contends with a smaller working-age population who will have to support a fast-growing aging society.  “We can say that even though the number of births in 2020 might be the lowest in recent decades, it is likely to be the highest in the next few decades, unless miraculous achievements were made via encouraging births in the future,” said Huang Wenzhen, a senior researcher from the Center for China and Globalization, a
Asia is starting to get out and exercise despite pandemic
Asia is in the middle of a fitness boom, and most people think it's here to stay.  This is despite the population being seen as less physically active than their counterparts living elsewhere in the world, with Asian professionals lagging behind in the exercise statistics, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study.   By 2025, China plans to build a sports economy worth US$850 billion. 20,000 soccer programs were launched in schools between 2015 and 2020. By 2025, China plans to have 50,000 soccer programs running in local schools. Children across Asia have often been encouraged to spend their leisure time on maths and science homework, rather than kicking a ball around or swingi
Drinking water for 100 million Chinese is contaminated
Nearly 100 million people in China drink water that contains toxic chemicals exceeding safety limits, researchers have found.  A team from Tsinghua University in Beijing found that the water contained more than 20% of man-made chemicals called polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS), which is used in fabrics and pesticides,  By analyzing data from 526 drinking water samples across 66 cities with a total population of 450 million, the study found that 16 samples, affecting 100 million people, exceeded safe levels. China has no national safety standards, so the study used the US state of Vermont’s regulations as the benchmark. Cities with high levels included Wuxi, Hangzhou and Suzhou in eastern China and Fo
Chinese state media promotes CoronaVac despite efficacy confusion
Chinese state media is championing Sinovac’s new vaccine, focussing largely on the positives while minimizing the fact that the public release of its efficacy data has raised international eyebrows. Various regulators worldwide said they would take a close look at the data for Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac product, which the company’s Brazilian partner, the Butantan Institute, said on Tuesday had a roughly 50% general efficacy rate – well below the 78% reported earlier. But there was little mention in Chinese media on Thursday of the questions raised by the results. “Sinovac releases vaccine data in Brazil: 100% effective in preventing severe cases, could reduce hospitalization by 80%,” natio
Investigation into Chinese infant skin cream after it caused extreme weight gain
A company stands accused of illegally adding hormones to baby lotion that caused a five-month-old girl to grow so big, so quickly, that she faced serious health concerns. After using the anti-bacterial lotion named Yifuling on their daughter to treat her eczema, the girl’s parents were alarmed to see their daughter rapidly balloon to 24 pounds. With cheeks so heavy they hung past her jawline, the baby girl’s forehead protruded abnormally and became covered in hair. They said she had also suffered developmental delays and stunted growth. Fearing the baby was allergic to her mother’s breast milk, they took their daughter – nicknamed Pomelo – for testing but doctors found no abnormalities. Wit