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Benjamín Juárez


Japan, world obesity and Wall-E [2008]

Sometimes I am reading something that calls my attention and share it with my wife. So I read to her out loud about Japan's difference with the rest of the developed world:

Another large study in 2013, by the American Heart Association, found that children in the developed world today take on average ninety seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did thirty years ago. Some decline in fitness was recorded in every developed nation except one: Japan, where the children today could still run as fast as their parents had done. [@finn2016japan #6 p. 37/170]

She replies: And why does this happen. I think about the previous paragraph.

All the athletes I meet in Japan eat a fairly traditional Japanese diet, with rice, miso soup, natto, seaweed, fish, buckwheat noodles, tofu and vegetables forming the main body of their daily food intake. They eat a combination of these things for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It’s an incredibly healthy diet that contributes to the fact that Japan is one of the healthiest nations on Earth. Not only do they famously have one of the longest life expectancies of any nation, but in a list of the world’s fattest developed countries, compiled by the UN in 2013, Japan was right at the bottom, with just 4.5% of adults considered obese. In comparison, the UK was ranked twenty-third, with 24.9% of the adult population obese. †

I don't mention diet nor make the general comparison again. I simply sum it all up without reading: "This happens because of difference in life style". To which she replies: So we are all headed to a Wall-E [@stanton2008walle] society.