Why are There no Obese People in Japan?

If you walk around Tokyo, you will notice this: all the people are looking like they actually work out and eat healthy. Hm, how can this be? This is a phenomenon that is unique only to the country of Japan. During my last visit, I noticed that vending machines are everywhere. Of course, this is due to the social structure. As with increasingly more countries around the world, Japan’s people are getting older on average. So they invest heavily in robotics and human aid that they want to make use of very soon. How are these couple of things connected? Vending machines replace sales workers, right?

The Secret is in the Choice

Since the vending machines are everywhere, many people use them. Sure, you can find vending machines in the U.S. and European cities as well, but their contents are different. For example, on average, In a Japanese vending machine, you get a few different brands of pure water. This water is not sweet and it does not taste like fruit (no artificial sweeteners added). There is also usually one brand of soda. While in Europe or the U.S. there are a few different brands of soda and only one brand of pure water with the taste of water.

U.S. likes to Drink Soda and Eat Carbs

U.S. is the world leader in consuming soda. Maybe the reason is that there is so much variety. Soda is being served in schools alongside pizzas, sandwiches and other fast food items full of carbs. On the other hand, in Japan, you are encouraged to drink water and eat seafood.

Japanese “Fast Food”

If you compare Japanese fast food to European or U.S. “fast foods” you will spot the major difference: in Japan, most of the fast food is actually neatly prepared seafood. Sea food is not really known on making people fat. In fact, it is considered a weight loss diet in many other countries. Even if you walk into a McDonald’s restaurant in Japan you will typically find seafood on the menu. Some of it is made to represent burgers which are popular in the U.S. and elsewhere, but it is genuinely a healthy food you will get which would be considered a weight loss diet

So the key is in the choice. If you are already presented with this nice and healthy food on every single corner of the street or a corner store, would you really reach for the fast food that makes you judge yourself as the weight goes up? I’m sure not, many would agree that the Japanese have very nice restaurants with premium food where meals go up to hundreds of dollars per person.

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