If you ever visit Japan you may well notice that it’s quite easy to eat like a Westerner. In other words, if you want a McDonalds, you won’t really have to look all that hard. You may or may not feel that this is a good thing. However, another thing you may notice about Japanese society is that the older generations who grew up during and after World War II are more often than not, slim. It is the younger generations, children and those in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are beginning to be larger around the waist line. My hypothesis is that this has something to do with diet.
Japan, and Asia at large, is well known for rice consumption. Rice has been grown throughout Asia for centuries and it is the staple food for millions if not billions of people on the planet. While rice is healthy, most Japanese eat it because it is part of their traditional diet rather than eating it because it is a so called, health food. But I have notice while travelling through the U.S. that more and more people are trying to include rice in their diets. You can find websites that discuss the benefits of different kinds of rice cookers. Some are simple pots, while others are more hi tech Induction Heating rice cookers made by companies such as Zojirushi (which just happens to be a Japanese manufacturer).
The fact of the matter is that Japanese diets are becoming more Westernized. People are eating more fatty foods and more processed foods. At the same time they’re moving away from the ’traditional’ Japanese diet of rice and vegetables. Fish consumption seems to be remaining relatively constant. The results seem to be evident. Japanese people are getting fatter!