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suboptimal health

“Why are young people sinking into suboptimal health”: Trending hashtag on Chinese social media

Recently, the medical examination of a 33-year-old man went viral. The man from Hengshui, Hebei province, went into the routine test thinking he was in good health, but to his surprise, he was diagnosed with several geriatric diseases, including elevated levels of uric acid and blood lipids, moderate to severe fatty liver, and thyroid nodules. His alarming story went viral on Chinese social media, and it turns out he is not alone. More young people in China are finding themselves in the same situation and sinking into suboptimal health.

Three highs, insomnia and anxiety: unveiling the domino effect on young people’s health

In the 3rd week of February, the hashtag #Why are young people sinking into suboptimal health#. It achieved 36 million views within two days. A medical doctor named Dr. Sun joined the online conversation. She pointed out, “chronic diseases are usually more common among elderly people. However, the population with “3-Highs” (hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar) is getting younger and younger. To illustrate, the unhealthy lifestyle, characterized by excessive screen time, which might further lead to more serious problems like insomnia and anxiety, led to the health problems.

The price of success: young Chinese struggle with suboptimal health and work stress

This news uncovered hidden frustrations in the lives of young Chinese, causing them to vent online. At present, young Chinese face tremendous pressure at work to keep up in the competitive job market. Thus, they suffer health problems due to long hours of screen time and high stress. Responding to Dr. Sun’s statement, a netizen from Hebei commented, “This topic is ironic. The root causes are 996, involution (内卷), and being unemployed at the age of 35. Are you (Dr. Sun) really concerned about young people?” On a positive note, more people are aware of the unhealthy elements of their daily routine. They encouraged others to maintain a healthier lifestyle. “Young people should spend less time on their phones surfing on the internet. Nevertheless, they need to exercise more and go out to enjoy life more.”

Suboptimal health and rising awareness of healthier lifestyles among young Chinese

  • News revealed the deep frustrations experienced by young Chinese individuals, leading them to express their grievances online.
  • Young Chinese face immense pressure in the competitive job market. This resulted in health issues caused by long hours of screen time and high stress.
  • There is a positive trend emerging as more people become aware of the unhealthy aspects of their daily routines. Encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyles, including reducing screen time and prioritizing physical activity, is gaining momentum.


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