7 bad health habits of western civilization

we westerners’ bad habits are:

1.drinking cold drinks
2.sleeping on soft beds
3. too much meat not enough green veggies
4. don’t open the windows (tong fong)
5. don’t stay in for a month after having a baby
6. eat too many sweets
7. drive rather than walk

7. drive rather than walk[/quote]

I think you’ll find that most Taiwanese people prefer to drive anywhere rather than walk.

and their belly shows it!

After three years, I still can’t get used to sleeping on a hard bed. :frowning:

  1. Getting a straight 8 hours’ sleep at night, instead of doing it in shifts like the Taiwanese do (5 hours of sleep at night, 2 hours of sleep after lunch, the other hour distributed in 5-minute stretches throughout the day. Why can’t you foreigners learn the civilized habit of conking your head out on a desk whenever you’ve got an extra ten minutes to spare?)

Some observations based on rantheman’s list.

  1. Drinking cold drinks is not bad for one’s health. Taiwanese eat shaved ice by the plateful and usually have ice in their drinks in the summer.
  2. Soft beds are OK, just not too soft. Too hard is also bad for your back.
  3. I agree that people eat too much meat and not enough veggies, in England at least (can’t speak for the whole of western civilization!)
  4. Of course people open the windows in Western countries! In Taiwan, people rarely open the windows because of the blazing heat most of the year and the filthy air in the city. It felt strange back in England last year opening the windows to let fresh air into the room. Normally I would have turned on a fan or the air con.
  5. Staying at home for a month. Ha! Post-natal care involves a lot more than just staying in bed eating unhealthy food and taking quack medicines like women do in Taiwan.
  6. Too many sweets. True. Obesity and diabetes are serious problems in many western countries. Fortunately, Taiwanese don’t have quite such a sweet tooth and portion sizes are much smaller here.
  7. Drive rather than walk. That’s true in practically any developed country in the world, East and West. As someone mentioned, Taiwanese are probably the worst for this. Some will ride their scooter 30 metres rather than walk.

[quote=“rantheman”]we westerners’ bad habits are:

1.drinking cold drinks[/quote]
How is this bad?

Only bad when it’s too soft. Hard beds can be just as bad for you, by the way.

True that.

What are you, stoned? We barely even closed the windows back home unless it was raining or way too cold.

True, to an extent.

True, but not confined to Westerners. Worse, though.

Welcome to the entire developed world.

cold drinks slow down metabolism. they freeze your insides by lowering your core body temperature. but on the chinese medical side, you body reacts by over heating (ruh chi).so it’s bad.

i should have said US where i’m from (interstate 10). the hotels have no fong sui gai nian whatsoever. no windows to open. open your windows, no mites. no mites, less asthma.

A slow metabolism is not necessarily bad for you. So how are cold drinks actually bad for you again?

Fengshui is bollocks. And so is that “open the windows -> less asthma”. New Zealanders leave windows open left right and center, and we still have one of the highest rates of asthma in the world (IIRC - if not, then at least a bloody high one).

Tetsuo thanks for reproducing the contents of my post. :laughing:

but some things about fung sui are true i believe. which side of the house faces the sun, where the breeze comes in, put a hole to let the damp air out if the building is on the side of a mountain. i believe it in a basic way.

by slow metabolism, i mean the weight gianing kind. my wife (new one) doesn’t like for me to drink cold stuff. she said it will make me fat.

Cold drinks make you fat? Wow! I should be 200kg then! Now I have heard it all… :loco:

this stuff is common thought in taiwan. not everybody does it but a lot of people do or at least try to adhere to these principles. it took me a year to get used to a hard bed, but there are a lot of benefits. we just use a little pad underneath.
as far as cold drinks go, try it yourself. if you have a cold, stay away from cold stuff. drink hot tea all day.
my sister is a nurse and we get into discussions about the cold drink thing too. but i believe it. sure i have my cold stuff sometimes.

A slow metabolism is actually quite beneficial to the body. Ever heard of those starving mice who live like 50% longer than mice on an average diet? That’s because the body adjusts to the lack of nutrients by slowing down the mice’ metabolism. This in turn leads to a decrease of radicals in the cells, which are normally damaging the DNA, which then slows down aging. On the downside, the mice become very inactive and make quite a tired impression most of the time (resulting in a drastically limited libido, so don’t try this at home folks!).

However, half a liter of cold coke doesn’t lower your core body temperature, or maybe only by 0.1 degrees C max; soon after drinking that coke it actually rises higher than before drinking. So, no slower metabolism.
Although it is indeed healthier to drink warm drinks, since a too radical change in temperture can irritate the stomach.

Actually, the opposite is true - drinking cold water helps you lose weight, because calories are burned bringing the cold stuff to the body’s normal temperature.


Doesn’t mean it’s not just superstition.

One of the worst “health habits” that nobody seems to have mentioned is eating too many processed foods and foods loaded with preservatives.

People also need to take more vitamins (which should include vitamin D or else the body won’t be able to absorb the other stuff), eat more fresh fish, and exercise. Since it’s so unhealthy to exercise outside in Taipei, things like yoga can be done inside and is very good for you.

Cold foods are considered bad, according to traditional Chinese medicine, because cold is damp producing, and too much dampness in the body leads to many health problems. Too much dampness in the body can lead to excess phlegm production, for example. Ice cream is considered by far the worst thing one can consume, according to Chinese medicine that is. Due to the coldness of the product, the insane amount of sugar, and the fact that it’s dairy (which is a major contributor to excess mucus and phlegm problems, as well as an aggravator of many allergies, respitory and sinus conditions) it is a big “no no” from this perspective of healthy living.

In response to the sleeping thing, the Taiwanese tradition of taking naps in the afternoon is indeed a great thing, however there is an important thing to consider here as well. Many people nap because they are not sleeping enough at night, for whatever reasons. Yes, making up this sleep not achieved during optimal nighttime hours is still a good thing, but it’s not the same as getting the hours needed during the body’s most natural sleep cycle times.

There has been a lot of research done on sleep in regards to the right times to get rest, and there’s also much documented on the benefits of taking short naps throughout the day (ie. ‘power naps’), however it’s important to keep it all balanced, beginning with a full night’s rest. This alone could spark a variety of discussions as to how it is defined.

Its the carpet we are so fond of in the west. Not to mention the soft furnishings.

Anything that can hold dust mite dumps and the remnants of their mating frolics.