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Change of habits necessary | Updated: 2012-06-28 13:46

A survey by The Chinese Center for Health Education of nearly 4,600 workers from 50 businesses nationwide listed on the 2011 China Fortune 500, shows that most of China's elite workforce lead unhealthy lives.

It found that while the respondents have enough information on health - nearly 90 percent of them gave correct answers to questions related to hypertension, psychological health, and antibiotic use - very few have healthy habits.

Zhou Bin, 23, who works for a Shanghai automobile company, said he does not pay attention to his nutrition although he knows the importance of a balanced diet.

"It is an acknowledged social value that people should devote all their efforts and time to work, regardless of their health," said Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor of sociology at Renmin University of China.

"Digestive diseases, obesity and high blood pressure all occur at an earlier age now, which is highly related to undesirable behavior, such as eating disorders and remaining seated all day long," said Zheng Shuai, a cardiac surgeon at Beijing Anzhen Hospital.

In April 2011, a 28-year-old white-collar female worker in Beijing, who was always under high work pressure and kept irregular eating habits, reportedly died from stomach cancer.

Later that year, another 24-year-old college student, who was preparing for the postgraduate entrance exam and had eaten instant noodles continuously for one month, was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died later.

Currently, stomach cancer tends to occur more among younger people, and this has much bearing on the unhealthy lifestyle of youngsters who stay up late, live under great pressure, and eat irregularly.

As the pace of life in China speeds up, customers are often in a hurry but demand good hygiene standards. Fast food then becomes the first choice for many Chinese city dwellers, especially for white-collar workers. However, fast food contains high-calorie, high-fat, high-protein and some additives, which poses potential hazards to people's health.

Seldom people have the time and mood to sit down and enjoy a slow meal and slow life now. However, if we occasionally take time to follow a traditional Chinese diet, positive changes may be seen. Furthermore, it can help protect our health, and significantly decrease the incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and some types of cancers.

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