Consuming too much of anything is unhealthy for the human body– especially sweet, yummy treats! Invented in the 1980’s. Bubble Tea or Boba, is a sweetened beverage consisting of some combination of tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. After becoming a hit in Taiwan, Boba rapidly spread throughout the rest of Asian in the 90’s.
While the exact identity of Boba’s inventor remains a mystery, none can dispute that it is a highly celebrated beverage today. Popular in both the East and West, Boba is a widely celebrated Asian culinary tradition.
Unfortunately, all that sugar alongside those starchy marbles is hardly good for you. A 14-year-old girl from Zhejiang province in China complained of stomach pain. Her bowels were also terribly clogged.
After five excruciating days of constipation, the teen’s concerned parents sent her to the hospital.
Performing a CT scan, Dr. Zhang Louzhen discovered roughly one hundred pellet-shaped objects lodged in the girl’s digestive system. Hundreds of tapioca pearls were responsible for her abdominal obstruction. They had lodged themselves in her stomach and intestines.
When questioned about the massive quantity of tapioca found insider her, the young girl claimed that she had only consumed a single cup of boba before she started suffering. However, it is unlikely that just one helping would have created such a devastating gastrointestinal blockage.
Doctors believe that the patient was lying about her boba consumption to avoid further punishment or verbal reprimanding from her family. They sent her home with laxatives and recommended that she practice moderation.
Other members of Dr. Zhang’s team warned that bubble tea has multiple factors that can make it difficult for the body to handle. The dairy and starch on their own can be problematic, but many tea shops and manufacturers also add chemicals, preservatives, and thickening agents that can impede one’s digestive system.
Boba enthusiasts, you have been warned!