In China, many children left behind

Rural children who’s parents leave them at home while they work for long periods in cities are more likely to suffer from depression, but excel in studies.

As China’s urbanization draws parents away from towns and villages to earn more money working in cities, a generation of ‘left behind’ children, those who remain in a small town with no parents, has emerged.

Instead, they are looked after by grandparents, who usually have little or no education, family friends, who have their own children to take care of, or are simply left to fend for themselves.

Currently, there are 61 million left behind children in China, 40% of which are under 5 years old.

With a lack of proper guidance and emotional support, they are more likely to suffer from depression and low self-esteem, a recent study found.

Researchers from Central China Normal University surveyed more than 1,700 adolescents, varying in age and gender,  throughout central China’s Hubei province.

They found children who’s parents have left experience lower life-satisfaction compared to those who do.

With little interaction in their home life, left behind children tend to place greater emphasis on school, excelling in education.

In many cases, they turn to teachers for emotional support.

“Mitigating factors which positively influenced outcomes of certain subgroups of left-behind children included the presence of one parent, increased parental contact, and shorter length of time since parental migration,” the study, published in the January edition of School Psychology International, said.

Unfortunately, head teachers interviewed for the study said parents of such children rarely communicate.

They concluded more efforts should be made in school-led initiatives to help the children adjust.

Poorly designed kitchens increase cancer risk by 49% for Shanghai women

For those looking for a reason to renovate to your kitchen – here’s one.

A 13-year study in Shanghai found that poorly ventilated kitchens increased cancer risk by 49 percent.

The research followed 71,320 women in Shanghai who never smoked from 1996 to 2009.  Of those women, 429 of them contracted some form of lung cancer.

Including factors such as coal usage, ventilation, cooking method and amount of cooking oil used, they concluded that poor ventilation was the only solid link to cancer risk.

Coal usage, while a heavily contributing factor when paired with poor kitchen ventilation, could not be independantly corroborated with cancer risk.

There was no significant connection made with cooking oil.

“The risk of lung cancer is an important public health issue in cities across China where people may have lived in homes with inadequate kitchen ventilation,” the report concluded.

Titled “Home kitchen ventilation, cooking fuels, and lung cancer risk in a prospective cohort of never smoking women in Shanghai, China”, the research was done in cooperation from 7 universities including the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, Yale University and the Shanghai Cancer Institute.

It was published in the February 2015 edition of the International Journal of Cancer.