Supplements are more popular than a nutritious dinner in China, according to a recent survey in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The survey, carried out by the marketing research company ACNielson Corporation, found that most people in the country today prefer taking a vitamin supplement over spending time preparing a nutritious meal, according to China Daily. "Many are afraid that medicines will have side effects, but they don't want to take the trouble to stew soup," said Barry Tse, senior manager at ACNeilson. According to the report, the most popular products were calcium, iron, ginseng, vitamin and honey-related products. In a previous survey by the market research company tonic and vitamin products topped all advertising categories in China, increasing by nearly 58 per cent to reach 8.94 billion yuan (about 1.08 billion U.S. dollars) last year. Health-enhancing products have always been a favourite on the Chinese market, particularly during festivals, when many people consider them mostappropriate presents, the Xinhau News Agency reported. However the survey indicated that 51 per cent of people now bought supplements for elderly relatives. Only 27 per cent still gave them away as gifts. The report further suggested that middle-aged customers who had experienced lots of hardship in their youth, are the most eager ones to provide the best fortheir children.