Chinese Traditional Medicine and Diet

With its rapidly changing economy and increasing urban wealth, China is at a critical moment when global cultures are changing traditional patterns of health care, often for the worse. Despite extraordinary public health achievements in the 20th century, evident in most of the standard health indicators, the country is now facing an epidemic of obesity among its urban children and a marked increase in first world diseases such as diabetes. Where once China’s railway stations were surrounded by a multitude of small vendors hawking every kind of snack, now the ultramodern concourses are home exclusively to McDonald’s, KFC, and equivalent Chinese fast food chains. Nevertheless, at home and abroad, the older generation still keeps traditional food cultures alive and, as in other Asian cultures, that ...

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