Wednesday, February 15, 2006

In Japan: Obesity on the rise as diets modernize

Obesity is on the rise in Japan, especially among children. Diet is mostly—but not entirely—to blame:

Instead of the fish fish, rice and miso soup of their grandparents' generation, younger Japanese are increasingly wolfing down fast-food-like burgers, fried chicken and instant noodles.

Stress is also to blame: Sayaka, the overweight 10-year-old girl profiled in the above-linked article, was in the habit of eating sandwiches at nighttime cram classes—where she studies for junior high entrance exams [emphasis mine]—and then slurping down a bowl of noodles after getting home.

Speaking of snacking at school, at what point in this country did parents start thinking that their kids couldn't go without food for more than 2 hours at school? Or was it the teachers who introduced multiple snack breaks per day for all elementary grades?

—Mellow Monk

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