1/3 of World’s Cigarettes Smoked in China

Two guys smoking
Two guys smoking

A blog that totes the wonders of Asianliving should really offer a fair slice of the other side: the health problems suffered in Asia. Suffice it to say the global news media frequently reminds us of the air quality issues across China, I decided to take it one step further and opine on the love of smoking here.

As Andrew Hales recently noted on his visit to Chengdu (where people use umbrellas in the daytime “like in the olden days”), China in the 20-teens seems much like America in the 1950s. Smoking is everywhere, all the time. And if you aren’t smoking, you will still smell (inhale) other people’s smoke. Restaurants, bars, shops, bus stations, train stations, bathrooms, and schools. There are virtually no tobacco-free zones in China, although in 2009 a policy was passed to “ban smoking in all health administration offices and medical facilities by the year 2011.”* That’s right, smoking in hospitals was common even just a couple years ago. City-specific legislation is still being carried out slowly across the country.* Continue reading 1/3 of World’s Cigarettes Smoked in China

Asian Secret #19 Bowls instead of Plates

Announcing... The Dinner Bowl

Try eating dinner tonight out of bowls. You don’t have to change your forks, knives, or spoons. Just use this smaller container for your food. The Asian tradition of using bowls instead of plates can make a big impact on how much we eat at meal time. Smaller plates work fine too.

When Dr. Nancy Snyderman is speaking about obseity concerns on the news, she frequently suggests using smaller plates.

Don’t forget: Eating 2 servings in a smaller container is better than 1 big serving in a bigger container. Continue reading Asian Secret #19 Bowls instead of Plates

Vinegar from Shanxi

Dong Hu Vinegar

For vinegar, I don’t taste much of a difference between brands, although color is important. Dark vinegar, or “Chen Cu” 陈醋, is the standard in China and the famous ones always come from Shanxi province 山西. While cooking with a very experienced coworker, I learned that a particular brand is famous here: Dong Hu, literally East Lake brand. You could search for it, but I’m not sure if it is available outside of China.

Medicinal benefits: A study has shown that putting vinegar in the food you eat can increase satiety, which leads to less food intake.[*2000] This is a great natural benefit for people fighting obesity. Other potential benefits include fighting infections, but there are other things out there which are more effective.

Apple (cider) Vinegar is a common drink I see in supermarkets here. Some studies have hinted that it could help with conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Maybe you should get a bottle and try sometime. Shake things up a little!