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Old July 27th, 2013 (10:43 AM). Edited July 27th, 2013 by The Dark Avenger.
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The Dark Avenger The Dark Avenger is offline
Vengeance is Vine
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: The States
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I found an interesting non-scientific article. It speaks to as to why obese and overweight people are more scarce in Japan. Citing societal pressure as one of the reasons. Perhaps there is a difference in the societal pressure of the US vs Japan as far as body shape goes. Though, there is fat shaming in america, there exists a lot of tolerance, more than Japan by far. It's simply not acceptable to be obese in Japan. For example, at my "all-american" family reunions stress eating heaps of food. If I eat two burgers without the bun, as well as a salad, corn-on-the-cob, and a baked potato, I can expect to be berated. "That's all yur gonna eat!...Why don't you like bread?!...Come on, one slice of pie won't hurt you." My dad seriously brought me a piece of cheesecake and said it was healthy since it was "just cheese" :/ I seriously feel like these people are related to Paula Dean, and they are not from the South! It doesn't matter how many times I say "no thanks", I am continual questioned for not eating the same way as they do. It is one of the societal pressures to eat socially like this in the US, to eat like an American, along with a divergent culture to eat smaller portions. I don't think its the societal pressure to be thin, or fat shaming that is at the core of the problem, it is the disparity between the two societal pressures that aggravates the issue, creates the shame and conflicting instructions. Whereas there appears to be less divergence of pressure in regards to Japan and food consumption, and thus, obesity is a non-issue for the general public.

I agree with Twocows on the point about genetics or medical issues as an excuse. This enables obesity/overweight people to feel as if they have NO CONTROL, and thus they won't even attempt to change their eating or exercise habits; thus, these people are hindered by false claims and adds to their depression and frustrations (as well as health consequences of being obese/overweight). Those who truly have a condition are in the very scant minority. Though I might add that we need to address the societal factors that play into sedentary and compulsive eating behaviors to make an effective change.

"Why are people thin in Japan:

Peer pressure. Japanese society is largely based on how one fits comfortably and unabrasively into society, way more so than most Western societies. There is a huge amount of peer pressure to conform, and the pressure on women in particular to stay slim is tremendous.

More unplanned movement. Usually people who live in Japan, especially the urban and suburban areas, just have to move a lot more. Cars aren’t practical at all except for longer trips, so almost everyone commutes by public transportation. That’s not to say there aren’t any gyms and such (there are, tons of them) but people just naturally get more exercise than in a typical American city.

Portions are way smaller. This is true in general, despite recent supersizing trends. There are Mega-Burgers and Extreme Meals and all of that, but the average portion sizes are still quite a bit smaller than in the U.S.

Japan Fat: Once You Move out of the Country, Things Change

A common complaint amongst Japanese people who go to live in another country, especially the U.S., is that a pretty substantial weight gain is almost inevitable. I haven’t been able to find any formal studies of this, but time and again I hear about people gaining around 15 to 20 pounds within a year or so after moving away from Japan. It’s not the Freshman 15, it’s the kaigai seikatsu (overseas living) 15. The author of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old Or Fat starts off with a personal anecdote about how she gained 25 pounds after moving to the U.S. One of the bestselling diet books in Japan, Tatakawanai daietto: Waga musume wa koo****e yaseta! (“The Fight-free (struggle-free) diet: My daughter lost weight this way!”) is based around the theme of a food and health journalist helping his daughter who came back “with a fat body” after a year of study in Arizona. (She’d gained about 10 kilograms, or 22 pounds.)"

When I am parent, I will not allow refined sugar, diary, or processed grains (not processed "whole grains" either) in the house. At a young age we begin to formulate life-long eating patterns.
For them, only fruits, vegetables, actual whole grains, and meat (preferably local). I take issue with parents that shroud their children with cheap and unhealthy food in large quantities as if they are "rewarding" or "treating" their children. In actuality, they causing nothing but harm.

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