Japan is among the few countries with low obesity rate, which is around 3.3% of the population, so basically it is rare to find overweight people there.
With its extremely low obesity rate, Japan ranks 7th out of the 10 healthiest countries in the world, and today we introduce the reasons why this country can manage it low.
Washoku; traditional Japanese food, is healthy
Traditional Japanese food, which is collectively called as Washoku, is famous for its well-balanced nutrition.
Every Japanese family follows the “ichiju-sansai” rule, which means “one soup and three dishes”, and this meal rule is considered as a healthy diet in Japan.
The ideal menu of “ichiju-sansai” is miso soup (source of probiotics and vitamins), pickles or vegetable dishes (source of vitamins and fiber), fish or meat dishes (source of protein, vitamins, and minerals), egg dishes or soy products (source of vitamins, protein, and minerals), and a bowl of steamed rice (source of energy).
Most dishes are served sautéed, boiled, or steamed, so usually they are low-fat and less-fattening compared to Western food.
Sufficient nutrition knowledge and appropriate eating habits from an early stage of life
Japanese people learn about nutrition early through the lunches served at their elementary and junior high schools every day.
Each elementary school and junior high school in Japan has a nutritionist whose job is to arrange healthy lunch menus and monitor how they are cooked.
The lunch menus served at schools in Japan have well-balanced nutrition, and Japanese people eventually learn good eating habits from eating them every day.
The way the food are served
Unlike Western food, where appetizers, main course, and desserts are served one by one, Japanese food are all served together. By serving all together, Japanese people can find out and control the portion of food they will eat, and this is one of the reasons why they are not obese.
Another reason why Japanese people are not obese is because they eat their food in the right order:
1. Soup and vegetables
2. Dairy products (if any)
3. Meat / fish / eggs
4. Rice / bread / noodles
5. Desserts (if any)
The above eating order prevents sudden blood sugar elevations, making it difficult for the body to gain fat.
Always busy; they move around a lot
Japanese people are very active in their everyday lives.
Most of them use public transportation and walk a lot, unless they live in a rural area.
Japanese people walk an average of 8000 steps a day; a total burn of 220 calories for those weighing 45kg.
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