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Vietnam's love for instant noodles rises to near-boiling point

By Minh Nga   November 22, 2017 | 03:19 am PT
Vietnam's love for instant noodles rises to near-boiling point
Vietnamese consumed more than 4.9 million packs of instant noodles in 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau
People in Vietnam eat on average more packs of the fast food than any other country in the world.

Vietnamese people consumed more than 4.9 billion packs of instant noodles last year, behind China, Indonesia and Japan, new data shows.

Vienam has held fourth spot since 2012 in the rankings compiled annually by the World Instant Noodle Associations (WINA).

On a per capita level with a population of over 93 million, the average Vietnamese person gobbled 53 packs of instant noodles in 2016, higher than Indonesians at 49, Japanese at 44 and Chinese people at 38.

WINA said Vietnam’s instant noodle market recovered last year thanks to more diverse products that offer a wider range of choices for customers.

Last year, The Washington Post cited a South Korean study that pointed out how harmful instant noodles can be for the health.

"Although instant noodles are a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food's] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads," said Hyun Shin, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health and a co-author of the study.

Doctor Dang Huy Quoc from the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that no studies have concluded that instant noodles can cause cancer, but high consumption of fat and salt can cause cancer and other heart diseases.

Other experts suggest that people should only eat one or two packs of instant noodles per week.

Many Vietnamese people are well aware of the harmful effects of instant noodles, but it's common in Vietnam for people to snack on a pack of instant noodles between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The noodles are popular among college students, who often live far from home and lack the facilities to cook themselves a proper meal.

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