Health

Health

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
Fumbled rollout puts scrutiny on Chinese coronavirus vaccine
A Chinese coronavirus vaccine has been found to have a lower efficacy rate than previously publicized, and now regulators around the world are expected to closely scrutinize the vaccine before approving it for their countries. The 50% efficacy rate is lower than the 78% number that was released by Brazil’s Butantan Institute on January 7, 2021. A series of confusing releases prompted calls from the scientific community for transparency in releasing coronavirus vaccine data. On Wednesday, Sinovac Biotech chairman Yin Weidong insisted that the data showed the vaccine, called CoronaVac, was safe and effective. He pointed out that the Brazilian study included people with “very mild symptoms” an
Chinese switched-at-birth boy fighting for his life
A Chinese baby switched at birth almost three decades ago, is now a grown man fighting for his life in hospital less than a year after being reunited with his biological parents. Mistakenly given to the wrong parents by hospital staff 28 years ago, Yao Ce has been waging a battle against advanced liver cancer after being diagnosed in February last year. The mistake may have directly led to Yao’s poor health. As a baby born with Hepatitis B, Yao should have been given a high-dosage vaccine shortly after birth because he had inherited the condition from his biological mother, Du, who is a Hepatitis B carrier.  The hospital mistakenly gave the vaccine to the healthy baby born to Xu instead, le
Sex in the time of corona: How couples are coping during the global pandemic
Sex has come out on top as one of the most important factors in relationships thriving and surviving during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has revealed. While previously it was thought that sex was not high on the list of reasons that could be attributed to a relationship’s success, it seems coronavirus lockdowns are now largely being praised for helping couples improve their lives together. A new study by Chinese scientists found that sex was three times more important than social or demographic factors such as money and age in improving a couple’s relationship during the coronavirus-related lockdown periods. In a paper published about the study in the journal Sexual Medicine last w