Quake strikes near Taoyuan
A magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck the north at 4:22pm yesterday, but no casualties were reported. The earthquake’s center was located 27km south of Taoyuan County Hall at a depth of 6.7km, the Central Weather Bureau said. The strongest shaking, with an intensity of 4, was felt in Jhubei City (竹北) in Hsinchu County. An aftershock with a magnitude of 3.4 struck in the same area shortly afterward. A total of 32 earthquakes have rocked Taiwan so far this month. The largest earthquake this year, of magnitude 6.5, hit on Sunday.
Dumplings under scrutiny
Nearly half of the dried daikon slivers used in rice dumplings recently checked by New Taipei City (新北市) health authorities were found to contain excessive levels of preservatives, consumption of which could damage the liver over the long term, an official said yesterday. In a check conducted late last month on the ingredients used in rice dumplings, traditionally consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival, health inspectors found that 47 percent of the dried daikon — a kind of radish — checked contained excessive levels of benzoic acid, a preservative. Some were found to contain levels as high as seven times the permitted amount, which is 0.6g per kilogram of food, a public health official said. Intake of benzoic acid, which inhibits bacterial growth, can reduce appetite and even damage the liver over the long term, the official said.
Dieters ignoring exercise
Taiwanese are more interested in losing weight through dieting than through exercise, a study by the Bureau of Health Promotion showed yesterday. While 56.4 percent of respondents seeking diet consultations asked questions about healthy eating, only 28.5 percent were concerned about how exercise could keep them in shape, the survey showed. The study showed that most people wanted to know about dietary guidelines, the six basic categories of nutrients, fast-food consumption and daily caloric intake. The most commonly asked questions were whether people could eat sweet fruit, what food should be chosen when dining out and the calorie allowance per day, a bureau official said. Such questions can be answered by calling a free hotline, the official said.
Twin exhibitions open today
Two international medical exhibitions featuring the latest healthcare products will open at a shared venue today, with more than 55,000 visitors expected to attend the events, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council said yesterday. The highlight of the exhibitions will be innovative medical equipment such as an ultra-light wheelchair that weighs less than 9kg, said Sue Lu, an official with the council, the event’s organizer. A unique “experience zone” equipped with medical apparatus and instruments will be set up for interested members of the public, Lu said. Last year, the shows drew 55,000 consumers and businesspeople from home and abroad, and the number is expected to increase this year because of a 10 percent growth in the number of exhibitors, she said. A total of 440 manufacturers have already registered to run 770 stalls at the Taiwan International Medical and Health Exhibition and the Taiwan International Senior Lifestyle and Healthcare Show, she said. The free shows run from today through Sunday at the Taipei World Trade Center.