China Focus: Mass nutritional fortification, beer consumption, latest research findings and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

China Focus: Mass nutritional fortification, beer consumption, latest research findings and more

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China’s mass nutritional fortification plans, beer consumption domination, latest research findings and more feature in this edition of China Focus.

Salt’s metabolic benefits? Role in increasing energy expenditure worthy of further study

A study by researchers from Australia and China found that salt could have a positive metabolic effect by promoting a negative energy balance to combat obesity, but extensive further research is needed given the negative consequences of high intake on cardiovascular health.

Salt intake has been found to regulate energy expenditure by stimulating non-shivering thermogenesis, a mechanism by which heat is produced by the body to adapt to the cold.

This could open the door for therapeutic applications, provided that they would not lead to dire health outcomes.

Fortified future? China set for mass fortification of staple foods to combat deficiencies – consultation open

The China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) has outlined a detailed proposal to mandate the nutritional fortification of a wide variety of staple foods, including food groups such as dairy, rice, wheat flour and vegetable oil, in order to boost public health and combat nutrient deficiencies.

Under these regulations, mass fortification will be enforced according to the type of nutrients and food group involved. For instance, it would be compulsory to fortify pasteurised dairy or fermented dairy products with vitamins A and D, rice and wheat with vitamins B1 and B2 and folic acid.

Food firms will also be able to fortify these products with other types of nutrients on a voluntary basis.

Booze boost: New Kirin data reveals China domination of global beer consumption rankings

According to Kirin’s latest Global Beer Consumption Report covering findings from 2021 about beer consumption in 170 major markets worldwide, China has emerged as the largest beer-consuming country in the year with a total of 38.1bn litres, taking up 20.5% of the global market share.

This is significant as China was not only the largest global consumer of beer, but also one of the only major Asian markets to see an increase in consumption — by 5.6% — amidst a general downturn in consumption in many other regional markets.

Protein and cognition: Increased intake in older age linked with reduced risk of impairment – China data

Increasing protein intake appears to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older age, while an extreme decline in animal-based protein consumption is linked with a 48% increase, new data from a long-term China study suggests.

Unlike protein from red meats, plant-based sources are not associated with adverse neural consequences due to low-grade systemic inflammation. This could, therefore, lead to better cognition when adults reach older age.

While the researchers noted that greater protein intake was needed as people age, more studies are needed to ascertain optimal levels and sources.

Triple whammy: Poor diets increase the risk of CVD by influencing obesity and depressive symptoms – China study

Poor dietary habits are significantly associated with obesity and depression, which in turn increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to researchers from Qingdao University.

The study analysed data from four cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) performed between 2011 and 2018, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED).

It was found that people who are obese are at greater risk of developing depressive symptoms, which interact with CVD risk factors, such as smoking and hypertension, in a statistically significant way.

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