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Chinese Papers Warn of Harmful Side Effects From Hula Hoop Craze

March 7, 1992

BEIJING (AP) _ After pushing hula hoops as a way to stay fit, the official media today warned that some Chinese who belatedly caught on to the American 60s craze are overdoing it and bending themselves out of shape.

The China Sports News (Zhongguo Tiyu Bao) said Beijing worker Xu Denghai was hospitalized with what it called a twisted intestine after playing with a hula hoop on Feb. 26 with his co-workers. It did not elaborate.

Xu was the third person in Beijing to suffer intestinal injury because of improper use of a hula hoop, the newspaper said, citing information from an article in the Beijing Youth News (Beijing Qingnian Bao).

The Sports News said Dr. Yang Hua of Beijing No. 3 Hospital warned that the gyrating motion of twirling a hula hoop around the body is a strenuous activity. Yang urged people to limit the time they use the novelty rings, the newspaper said.

The Beijing Evening News (Wanbao) advised people to warm up properly and refrain from playing with hula hoops immediately after eating to avoid stomach, intestinal and back injuries.

State-run newspapers and television have carried numerous reports on hula hoops since the fad began in China in February. Today’s edition of the Beijing Evening News had an entire page devoted to the craze.

The China Disaster Reduction Press (Zhongguo Jianzai Bao) today had two front-page articles on the history of hula hoops, health warnings and concerns about possible environmental problems if the plastic rings are discarded after the fad wanes.

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