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双语新闻播报(February 17)

chinadaily.com.cn 2023-02-17 10:49


> Bike desks help Mexican students learn while burning calories

Rows of sleek new school desks equipped with bike pedals are allowing students in Mexico to power through their class work while cranking out some light exercise, burning off calories in a country known for its alarming obesity rates.

For students at a high school just outside Monterrey, the new bike desks offer benefits beyond exercise.

"When we're physically active, it also helps keep us focused," said a 13-year-old student. The school currently features two classrooms fully decked out with the new desks, but the plan is to gradually add them to all 21 classrooms.

Sanjuanita Garcia, the school's principal, points to the bike desks' post-pandemic benefits, especially for boys more vulnerable to excessive weight gain.

Mexico has a high obesity rate, with more than a third of its population dangerously overweight and more than 75% at a greater weight than is considered healthy.

And as children age, many pack on the pounds. A recent national study showed about 8% of children under 5 were overweight or obese, which rises to almost 19% for kids 5-11 years old.

Large amounts of excess body weight during early years poses numerous dangers to children’s health, including increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, and asthma.

Most children do not outgrow weight problems acquired in early life, and obesity in adulthood is known to contribute to strokes, heart disease, and dementia.

> Service consumption recovery gathers speed

Visitors are seen at an ancient town in Xichang, Sichuan province, Jan 27, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

China's economic recovery is on the right track, and the recovery of services consumption is off to a strong start, said experts at some foreign institutions.

The country's offline consumer service sectors like tourism, movies and catering, which were severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a strong rebound in demand during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday in late January, said Fitch Ratings.

Domestic tourist trips during the holiday jumped 23.1 percent year-on-year, recovering to around 90 percent of the pre-pandemic level during the same period of 2019, while tourism spending rose 30 percent year-on-year.

Cinema box-office receipts reached the second-highest take on record, and the number of tickets sold was only slightly below the 2019 level, according to official figures.

National retail and catering revenues reported by key enterprises increased 6.8 percent year-on-year.

Dine-in consumption at restaurants and eateries grew strongly by 15.4 percent year-on-year, with average restaurant spending up 10.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The country's official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 50.1 in January, up from 47 in December, ending three months of contraction.

The January rebound in PMI is in line with consumption figures during the Lunar New Year holiday, demonstrating a strong recovery in the Chinese economy.

This year, although slower exports will have a negative impact on China's economic growth, consumption growth in the country is expected to rebound to about 7 percent.

In addition, investment is likely to stabilize at around 5.5 percent.

Combined, these factors will hopefully drive the full-year economic growth to about 5 percent, said analysts at UBS CIO.

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