China Focus: Latest research findings, most-read China food and beverage stories, salt intake reduction and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

China Focus: Latest research findings, most-read China food and beverage stories, salt intake reduction and more

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Latest findings from various Chinese studies, the top 10 most-read China food and beverage stories in 2023, developments in the novel protein sector, and more feature in this edition of China Focus.

Plant-based diets linked to lower gestational diabetes risk: Chinese meta-analysis

A meta-analysis conducted by researchers in Fujian Province, China, which included 10 studies encompassing 32,006 participants, revealed that a higher adherence to plant-based dietary patterns was associated with a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

The association was more pronounced when considering healthy plant-based dietary indices compared to unhealthy ones. However, further exploration is needed to elucidate the complex interaction between dietary compounds and GDM.

Early-life exposure to Great Chinese Famine linked to gut microbiome disruption, greater type 2 diabetes risk: Cohort study

Individuals who experienced early-life exposure to the Great Chinese Famine are more likely to suffer from gut microbiome disruption and face a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, say Chinese researchers.

The Great Chinese Famine lasted from 1959 to 1961 during the leadership of Mao Tse Tung, and was characterised by widespread food shortages and famine in China.

A recent study, led by China’s Westlake University, delved into the intricate relationship between early-life famine exposure, alterations in the gut microbiome, and the subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes.

China review: The Top 10 most-read China food and beverage stories from 2023

Check out our top 10 most-viewed food and beverage stories from China throughout 2023, featuring Kraft-Heinz’s regional plans, Mengniu’s RTD protein focus, the Chinese government’s “Excellent Milk” project, and more.

Mainstream by 2033? Affordability and scaling up ‘ever more important’ for novel protein sectors as regulatory challenges ease

The major novel protein technology sectors in APAC covering cultivated meat and precision fermentation now see scaling up and subsequent product affordability as the next important evolutionary milestone.

While there has been significant pushback in some countries such as Italy, which made headlines after banning cultivated meat production and promotion in the name of protecting the local food system, there has been much more positive progress in the Asia-Pacific region.

China’s Premier Xi Jinping has highlighted alternative proteins, including cultivated meat​ as a crucial part of the country’s developmental strategy.

Driving down salt intake in China: Targeted campaigns needed to reduce excessive intake by 50%

A recent study conducted by Chinese researchers revealed that 60.07% of residents in Anhui province engaged in salt-reduction behaviours, with key insights into specific demographics.

These include the greater likelihood of women, older individuals, people who had higher education, and individuals with a history of hypertension to adopt salt-reduction measures.

The study also highlighted the significance of interventions aimed at restaurants and food establishments.

In addition, the researchers said that targeted, evidence-based educational campaigns focused on the health risks associated with excessive salt consumption could promote behavioural change among consumers in China.

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