Obesity is not a problem in Japan - yet

Obesity is not a problem in Japan - yet

New Zealand, Australia, the UK and USA have all gotten over 30% rates of obesity but Japan is at 3.5%.  What are they doing so differently to us?  Their diet.


  • A traditional diet of brown rice, soups, fruits, vegetables, fish (and a minimal or zero consumption of meat)
  • The average Japanese consumes 25% fewer calories daily than the average Westerner
  • Culturally, obesity is an anathema in Japan
  • However, this is changing thanks to globalisation of junk-food. There are about 3,600 McDonald’s now in Japan, making it the #2 market behind the U.S., which has almost 13,000.

“Lifestyle factors in Japan have become Westernized.  Especially, food has become Westernized and mainly high calorie and high fat.  People should reduce the fat content of meals, eat meals with increased levels of fibre, plants, fish, take moderate exercise, and avoid alcohol”
Gozoh Tsujimoto, director of the Drug Discovery Research Center at Kyoto University.


Posted: Tuesday 29 January 2013