Chinese millennials are trying to cover-up the effects of their late-night lifestyles. That’s caused ‘alternative health routines’ to go viral. But many of those efforts are only skin-deep, and young people are starting to develop diseases once reserved for old age.
CGTN’s Rory Coen reports.
Yan Fengyuan gives his face a thorough cleanse, puts on a facial mask, then prepares for another all-nighter.
The 27-year-old starts his night of video games with friends, with a warm glass of herbal tea at his side.
“These days people live a really fast paced life,” says Yan. “Sometimes I just have to stay up late, either because of work or hanging out with friends. I find everyone at my age stays up late.”
“It’s exciting to stay up late. I would feel I’m living an elderly person’s life if I went to bed early.”
Yan is almost a classic example of one who practices a ‘post-90s punk health routine’, a concept that has gone viral since 2017. He “stays up late, while using the most expensive cosmetic products to counter the effects of staying up late.”
It’s a reflection of Chinese millennials’ efforts to stay healthy, despite leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
“Besides drinking herbal tea I also go to a massage parlour to get facial treatments and acupuncture,” Yan explaines.
Chinese millennials, especially those living in mega-cities, are known for their fast paced, highly stressed, albeit fun-seeking lifestyles.
But for many, their health has already started deteriorating, and many diseases that are often associated with older age have begun to occur among the younger generations.
Doctor Wu Bing, the Deputy Director of Gastroenterology at the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has witnessed this firsthand.
“We are seeing more and more young people coming to the hospital for diseases that were more commonly seen among older people, such as chronic atrophic gastritis, or coronary heart disease,” he says. “Many of these diseases are caused by arrhythmic lifestyles, and might develop into cancer.”
Chinese “post-90s” are also growing into a big market for health products. Some companies have also tapped into this market by offering ready to eat traditional Chinese medicine snacks.
Doctor Wu, though, says people should use these snacks with caution.
“In general, medicinal snacks are safe to eat, but they might not be suitable for everyone as different people have different physiques,” Dr. Wu explains. “And people should use caution when taking certain medicines chronically as all medicine has side effects. People should consult with their doctor before taking health products.”
The doctor points out that it is never too early to start watching out for one’s health. However, the best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle.