Japanese Diet and Weight-Related Health
Due in no small part to their diet nutrition and eating habits, the Japanese enjoy the best health, a low rate of obesity and the greatest longevity in the world. Here are a few facts about what the average person in Japan eats and how it impacts upon health, weight and obesity-related disease. Before examining Japanese eating habits, here's a quick comparison of obesity prevalence in Japan and America, as a percentage of the population: obesity level in Japan 2.9 percent (males), 3.3 percent (females); obesity level in America 27.7 percent (males), 34.0 percent (females).
Japanese Diet Habits
- The Japanese eat just over 30 percent of their food calories in the form of fat. Most of this dietary fat is polyunsaturated. This compares with 40-55 percent in most European countries.
- The Japanese diet includes about 55 percent of calories as carbohydrates, mostly higher-fiber wholegrains or lower-GI carbs. About 15-20 percent of calories are consumed in the form of protein.
- The Japanese typically eat three meals a day. A typical breakfast is rice with a soy-based soup like Miso with ingredients like seaweed and vegetables, and a little grilled fish. A typical lunch is rice with a combination of chicken and vegetables cooked in broth, with eggs. A typical dinner is rice with grilled fish and meat, with boiled greens and (you've guessed it) miso soup.
- Compared to Americans, the average Japanese eats much more fish (average 3.5oz per day) and soy protein and much less red meat.
- The staple food of the Japanese diet is rice. For example, a basic meal might include steamed rice, a soy-based soup like Miso, with side dishes of (eg) fish/seafood, vegetables, seaweed, chicken, and noodles.
- The Japanese are traditional consumers of sea vegetables like seaweed. As much as 25 percent of all food dishes in the Japanese diet contain some variety of seaweed.
- The Japanese have the highest flavonoid intake in the world, (65g per day, versus 13g per day in America). Flavonoids, a type of phytochemical, are plant compounds with powerful antioxidant properties. They are found in large quantities in soy foods, legumes (beans) and to a lesser extent in tea, onions, and certain fruits such as cranberries. Nutritionists believe that this high consumption of antioxidant foods may account for the low rates of diet-related diseases in Japan, like cancer.
A Popular Japanese Diet Book
For more information about the health benefits of Japanese cuisine and eating habits, see the best-selling diet book - The Okinawa Program.
Obesity and Overweight in Japan
Compared to America and most European countries, the Japanese have a significantly lower rate of obesity (3-4 percent). As a result, rates of weight-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are much lower, although rising. However, as the eating habits of the Japanese population change, so too does their weight profile. Also, the very low obesity level in Japan is partly due to the use of the standard body mass index (BMI) cut-off point of 30, which may not be appropriate for the Japanese physique. When using a BMI of 25, as some obesity experts suggest, the level of Japanese obesity becomes much higher.
Japanese Diet and Weight-Related Health
Cancer (especially breast cancer) and heart disease are both associated with diet and weight status. Here are some comparisons between Japan and America. There are 8.6 deaths per 100,000 people in Japan due to breast cancer, compared to 21.2 deaths in America. From 1993-1997, there were 154.6 female cases of cancer in Japan per 100,000 population, compared to 279.1 female cases in America. There are 30 deaths per 100,000 people in Japan due to heart disease, compared to 106.5 deaths in America. The estimated 2005 Japanese life expectancy at birth (Female) is 84.6 years, compared to 80.6 years for American women.
Looking Ahead: Dietary Changes in Japan
Although the traditional Japanese diet is very healthy, Japanese eating habits are changing. Among young people in particular, there is a higher intake of dietary fats, greater consumption of Western foods, and a move away from traditional staple foods like rice, seaweed and fish. In addition, lifestyle changes are leading to lower levels of nutrition, fewer "family meals" and less exercise. These factors are already causing an increase in levels of overweight, as well as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia (high blood fats).
DIETING and WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
BEST DIET | Free Diet Plan | Diet Program to Lose Weight | How to Lose Weight | Calorie Needs | Weight Loss Advice | Free Diets - Special Conditions | Diet Questions | Diet Advice For Men | Best Online Diet Plan | Best Weight Loss Diet Plan | How to Lose Weight Fast | Do Diet Programs Work | Types of Weight Loss Programs | Diet Tips | Best Forum For Diet Support | New Diets and Dieting Articles | Obesity Advice | Weight Chart | Help to Lose Weight | Diet Pills Advice | Side Effects | Xenical Fat Blockers | Meridia Diet Pills | Do Weight Loss Pills Work | Laxatives to Lose Weight | Weight Management Guidelines | Surgery for Weight Loss | Health Risks | Gastric Bypass Diet | Eating Disorders | How to Stop Bingeing | Weight Loss & Exercise | Weight Loss After Pregnancy | Diet Recipes | Diet Newletter | Weight Loss Resources | Diet & Weight Loss Links
REVIEWS OF DIETS
Reviews of Diets | Atkins Diet | Cabbage Soup Diet | Cider Vinegar Diet | Fad Diets | Food Combining | Grapefruit Diet | High Fiber Diets | Jenny Craig Diet | Low Calorie Diets | Low Fat Diets | Low GI Diet | Metabolic Typing Diet | Peanut Butter Diet | Scarsdale Diet | South Beach Diet | Sugar Busters | Three Hour Diet | Weight Watchers Diet | Zone Diet | Weight Loss Diet Reviews
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS and FOODS
Diets for ADD/ADHD | Alcohol & Dietary Health | Diet For Alcoholics | Arthritis Diet | Blood Pressure Diet | Bodybuilding Diet | BRAT Diet | Cancer Diet | Candida Diet | Cholesterol Lowering Diet | Constipation Diet | Crohn's Disease | DASH Diet | Detox Diet | Diabetic Diet Tips | Gluten Free Diet | Healthy Heart Diet | High Protein Diets | Hyperactivity Diet | Indian Diet | Irritable Bowel Diet | Lactose Intolerance | Lactose-Free Non-Dairy Calcium | Low Sodium Diet | Medical Diet | Mediterranean Diet | Menopause Diet | Migraine Dietary Advice | PMS Diet | Renal Diet | Smokers Diet | Vegetarian
DIETARY NUTRITION, HEALTHY EATING, GLYCEMIC INDEX and CALORIES
Latest Dietary Guidelines | Healthy Diet | Diet For Children | Diet For Teens | Diet Nutrition Advice | Fat in Food | Best Fats | How Much Fat Needed | Guide to Glycemic Index | Guide to Glycemic Load | GI Per Food Serving | GI Values For Food Groups | Carbs & Glycemic Index | Low Carb Diets | Daily Carb Needs | How Much Fiber Needed | Folate Intake RDA | Calcium Intake RDA | Protein Intake RDA | Sugar Intake | Food Calorie Charts
Diet-i.com provides general information on healthy eating, special diets and weight loss programs, diet nutrition, diet pills and weight loss surgery. However no advice given here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. For the sake of your health, always consult your doctor before making any significant dietary, nutritional or lifestyle changes. Copyright 2001-2018 Diet Information. All rights reserved.