Why Japanese people are so slim

average U.S. and Japanese menOk..I am Japanese and want to ask them this question. I think I already know the answer to this question though. Japanese people are known for their longevity and health. You rarely meet overweight or “fat” Japanese people. The image on the left shows the average U.S. and Japanese men. You see the difference.¬†Foreigners who know little about Japan may think that they live off of miso soup and fish. You would be surprised to see lots and lots of fastfood restaurants everywhere in Japan. The examples are KFC and McDonald’s and the list goes on and on..It is said that there are over 3,000 McDonald’s in Japan which is second in number to America.There is a countless number of Convenience stores such as Seven Eleven, AMPM, Lawson etc. You can get anything that you need including bento, onigiri (rice balls), junk food and snack in Japanese Convenience stores. Japan has an incredibly rich food culture..BUT WHERE ARE THE FAT JAPANESE PEOPLE? Well, you may find overweight people here and there, but definitely not as frequently as you would see in America..So I came up with the following reasons which explain why they are so skinny. I am from Japan, however, I am referring to my own people as “they” since unfortunately I am a minority group..Well, I am on Medifast and have been working on it. So who knows? I may be the average Japanese woman (120lbs)soon. Well, let’s hope so.

  1. LOTS of walking: Japan has the most advanced public transportation system in the world. You would be walking a lot over there to switch trains, taking a bus, walking in the underground subways. You may even need to run to catch the right train. Japanese people walk a lot more than American people.
  2. Food portions are much smaller than in America: In America, restaurants serve ridiculous food portion sizes. You can easily share a plate with another person or even with two people. My doctor told me not to finish what’s served in the restaurants because these aren’t meant to be consumed by one person. You should either get the rest of your leftover to go or share with another person..or just leave it at the restaurant. You would hate wasting so much food here. haha. In Japan, you cannot take away the leftovers at the restaurant and there is no need to because their portions are much smaller. So naturally Japanese people eat less.
  3. Pressure to conform: Japan is a collective society, and people care a lot about what other people think of them in order to fit into the group. So they feel more pressure to have the average body type of the Japanese people.
  4. Japanese woman (and man) are extremely conscious about weight. This is related to “the pressure to conform”, but especially young Japanese women feel enormous pressure to stay slim. In fact, there are many weight loss programs from banana diet to miracle diet. My friends were doing the miracle diet with an intensive 10-days menu consists of black coffee, some vegetables, hard boiled eggs, fish and meat.


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