A 14-year-old Chinese girl was hospitalized after she was constipated for five days, according to AsiaOne in a June 6 report, citing local media outlets.
The girl from Zhejiang Province said she couldn’t eat, had stomach pains, and other symptoms, the report said. Her parents finally took her to the hospital on May 28.
After an X-ray was performed, doctors spherical shapes in her abdomen. Doctors said that the round shadows were undigested tapioca pearls from bubble tea that she had consumed days prior.
The girl said that she had the bubble tea about five days before her health problems surfaced, AsiaOne reported. The news outlet also posted a photo of the dozens of bubble tea pearls inside her stomach.
The girl was then given laxatives to relieve her of the symptoms, it was reported.
A doctor involved in the case said that he thinks that the girl was hiding her consumption of bubble tea from her parents, saying that she would have had to drink a lot for it to be this severe.
Bubble tea pearls are generally made of starchy tapioca, which can be difficult for the body to digest.
In 2015, there was a scandal involving bubble tea pearls, where a TV reporter in China’s Shandong Province found undigested pearls present in her stomach during a CT scan. An investigation revealed that the tapioca “pearls” were made from old tires and soles of leather shoes.
In 2012, researchers from Germany found polychlorinated biphenyls in the product, which are known to cause cancer, affect the nervous system as well as the reproductive system, immune system, and endocrine system.
Other than potentially toxic or hazardous materials, the drink is high in calories. According to the Daily Meal, in highlighting how unhealthy the drink is, “the main components of bubble tea are tea, milk, and tapioca pearls—as well as alarmingly high levels of sugar.”
“Tapioca pearls — loved for their chewy, candy-like texture and often referred to by their Chinese name, boba—are as bad for your health as actual candy. Boiled and then saturated with sugar, those fun little balls can each add five to 14 calories to your drink, which means that just 1/4 cup of them can add over 100 extra calories to your already calorically-dense drink,” says the report.
Other Food to Avoid From China
Other than tapioca pearls, another food item to avoid that is imported from China is shrimp.
In 2012, samples of shrimp purchased at thirty different grocery stores across the United States were tested. They were found to contain high amounts of antibiotics that are banned in the United States, such as carcinogen nitrofurazone and chloramphenicol.
Fake rice is also rampant in the communist country, and about 9 million tons of it have been imported to the United States over the past several years.
It contains material similar to plastic, and according to reports, is made by mixing synthetic industrial resin with potatoes. There have also been reports that some try to use pieces of paper to pass off as rice.
Baby formula, salt, wine, tofu, and beef from China are also worth avoiding, according to an Epoch Times report from earlier this year.
Epoch Times reporter Elizabeth Li contributed to this report.