“Now that you’ve said ‘Maratanghulu’, how about a smoothie?”
In front of a middle school in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul on the 11th. In a narrow store less than 10 pyeong (approximately 33 m2), about 15 students were chatting while holding sparkling fruit skewers in their hands. This was a restaurant specializing in Tanghulu, a Chinese snack made with fruits such as strawberries, pineapples, and Shine Muscat stuck on sticks and coated with syrup-like sugar.
Lee Mo Yang (14), a middle school student, said, “After school, I was hungry, so I followed the ‘guk rule’ (a buzzword meaning that certain actions are unwritten rules) and came to eat Malatang and buy Tanghulu before going to the academy. “She has to drink one smoothie to complete the ‘3-piece set,’” she said with a laugh.
● A new sweet and salty snack culture
These days, it is popular among teenagers to drink a smoothie as a snack after eating ‘Maratanghulu’, which is a combination of Malatang and Tanghulu. High school student Kim Mo-yang (17) said, “At먹튀검증 least twice a week, she gets together with her friends and buys and eats Tanghu Luna smoothies.”
According to ‘Baemin Trend 2022’ released by Baedal Minjok last year, the menu that teenagers most frequently ordered for delivery was malatang. According to food industry statistics from the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation ( aT ), Tanghulu was the most popular search term among teenagers in the frozen and ready-to-cook food category last month.
Ms. Kim said, “Because of its pungent taste, you become addicted to Malatang and keep eating it,” and added, “If you eat a sweet dessert with your mouth full, ‘sweet salty sweet salty’ (repeating sweet and salty tastes) is complete.” Ms. Lee added, “Tanghulu is sold for 4,000 won in front of the school, and I watched the recipe on YouTube and made it at home.”
● High in sodium and sugar, which is a red flag for youth health.
The problem is that the set of three ‘new snacks’ preferred by teenagers can be harmful to health.
In particular, eating these snacks significantly exceeds the recommended daily intake of sodium and sugar. Maratang uses a lot of spices to create a unique spicy taste, so the sodium content per serving is 2000 to 3000 mg. This is similar to the World Health Organization ( WHO ) recommended daily sodium intake (2000mg).
Also, according to the Korea Consumer Agency, one Tanghulu contains 10 to 25 g of sugar, and one cup of smoothie contains 28 to 107 g of sugar. Just by eating Tanghulu and smoothies, you can exceed the recommended daily sugar intake (50g).
Because it has become established as a peer culture, it is not easy to just stop it. Mr. Park (52), who is raising a teenage child, said, “I have recently started buying a lot of Malatang, Tanghulu, and smoothies, but I am worried that I might get diabetes or obesity.” He added, “All my friends are buying them, so it is difficult to stop them.” . An elementary school teacher said, “Recently, students are flocking around and eating a lot of spicy snacks. “I’m worried because I have a couple of friends with childhood diabetes,” he said.
Experts warn that poor eating habits can lead to gastritis, diabetes, and obesity.
Park Hyeon-ah, a professor of family medicine at Seoul Paik Hospital, said, “Foods that are salty and contain a lot of spices, such as malatang, can cause gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis and reflux esophagitis, and fructose foods are the main culprit of childhood obesity and fatty liver.” “The more you eat irritating foods, the more you want.” “It’s a big problem because we have to do it,” he said. Kwon Oh-ran, a professor in the Department of Food and Nutrition at Ewha Womans University, said, “Eating a lot of sweet foods can slow down the action of insulin, which can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity,” and added, “Special guidance is needed during adolescence when eating habits are formed.”