Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Dangers Of BOBA. (GASP)

(If you live under a rock...or you're just deprived, boba is tapioca that is usually put into a sweet drink like milk tea; here's an example below. Looks good enough to drink huh?)

Lets start off with the basics of boba and milk tea. Typically the tea helps you wake up because it contains caffeine, and the sweetness not only makes it taste great but also gives you an energy boost when you're feeling down. The boba (the black stuff at the bottom of the cup) is made of sugar and cassava roots (so to all you vegans and vegetarians out there, no it's not made of gelatin), and it's a great compliment to the tea because they're sweet and a bit chewy. So tell me, who the heck wouldn't like this awesome drink? Well...probably anyone watching his or her weight for one. And studies show that it MIGHT cause cancer and/or arthritis.

1. The calories in boba
Okay lets start with the basics. Why would boba be the cause of you gaining 10 pounds overnight? (okay, that was an exaggeration but you get the point xD) The answer is pretty's the calories that each boba has. Studies show that each boba usually contains 7-15 calories for EACH one you eat. If you think about how many are in your drink...(usually 30-70, just to give a rough estimate) the number of calories that you're getting is really adding up. And that's not to mention you also have to tea that you're drinking to consider. So with each drink, the calorie count can be going up to the high hundreds or even low thousands.

2. Other health risks
(Please note that the following hasn't been proven yet, but there are tons of rumors about boba causing cancer and arthritis and blah blah blah) Anyway, a few years ago I read in the newspapers that boba may cause arthritis if you consume too much of it, but so far nothing in the science world has proved it yet so I'm unsure about how legitimate that article was. Boba has also been claimed to cause cancer, but no one has proved this yet either. Although nothing has been proven yet, it is highly likely that large companies that sell boba such as Lollicup, Quickly, and Tapioca Express may have been keeping information from the public though. Because they are such large companies, it wouldn't be hard to spread around propaganda that boba is in fact good for you. This trend has been seen over and over again all over the United States's food industries so if the companies actually did manipulate information it wouldn't be all to surprising.

3. Other random facts about boba and milk tea
-Boba was invented in Taiwan.
-Typically a large pot of boba takes around 4 hours to make.
-Many people claim that "boba" is slang for nipple in Mandarin. (ewww -.-)
-Cassava (the root that is used to make boba) is pure starch...which is why boba is so fattening
-Some sites claim that because boba is made with roots and potatoes, it's healthy. But if you say that you have a fattening butter-laden dish and you put some vegetables on it, wouldn't that suddenly become healthy as well?

And so there you have it, all the good, bad, and probably scary information that you may or may not have known about boba. The bottom line is, when it comes to boba don't drink too much of it, the good things in life should always be taken in moderation. (Whoa that sounds like I'm suggesting something. NEVERMIND.) That's pretty much it for now, keep in mind that I'm not ragging on boba or anything, this is just an fyi :)



  1. Chichi, make sure you edit this sentence!
    "Cancer has also been claimed to cause cancer, but no one has proved this yet either"

    Unless that's what you actually meant to say, of course. :)

  2. Oh gosh...I didn't catch that hehe. Thanks for the tip :) I guess that's what you get for not proofreading huh? xD

  3. "Many people claim that "boba" is slang for nipple in Mandarin. (ewww -.-)" EWWW? coming from someone who has the name Chichi? LOL!!!!


    2. Actually, boba means big pearls, which in Taiwan is slang for boobs.

    3. the irony HAHAHAHA

  4. Where are your references?

  5. "Many people claim that "boba" is slang for nipple in Mandarin. (ewww -.-)" EWWW? coming from someone who has the name Chichi? LOL!!!!"


  6. "Boba" is slang for 'breast'.
    My mom sometimes says, "Wow that girl has huge boba!"

    Source: Taiwanese mother

  7. Also, if you ever order boba milk tea in Taiwan, you'll find that people actually will order "ZenZu Nai Cha" not "Boba Nai Cha." Presumably because it's embarrassing to order "breast milk tea" so they say "Zenzu" or "pearl."

    Source: many trips to Taiwan
    (same poster as above)

    1. this is not generally true, everyone orders boba nai cha here in tainan. there are two sizes of boba, perhaps zenzu is the smaller. also, friends here have told me that in taipei you can order zenzu or boba nai cha, but here in tainan, they're both boba, but you just call the smaller one little or small boba.

  8. Man, I didn't know boba had that many calories! Yikes! I drink it all the time.

    1. Chill out dude. You need to eat nearly an entire cup of boba alone to even equal 300 calories. These stats are a little...accentuated.
      An 8 ounce serving of bubble tea is 180 calories plus bubbles. So around 300-350 calories.
      The fruit kind is less.
      16 oz Mango Green Tea with Boba is less than 300 calories.

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  10. Dumb! There is not evidence behind any statement made.
    Use some scientific resource or data that proves any point you make when trying to talk about the science of foods.

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  15. (Please note that the following hasn't been proven yet, but there are tons of rumors about boba causing cancer and arthritis and blah blah blah)

    Really... Blah blah blah, a little unprofessional don't you think. This article would've been great without all the little extras. Just a tip, not trying to be mean :)

  16. lol
    ppl say boba is made from tire

  17. In Japan people have been eating konnyaku for centuries with claims to health benefits. If the Boba is made out of same ingredient as konnyaku, should be more of a health benefit. We just dont know the quality control coming from china


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