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Health diets from overseas flooding Japan, but are they right for Japanese bodies?

67 Comments

Some time ago it was noticed that Mediterranean countries, Italy and Greece in particular, are relatively free of heart disease. Why should that be? Olive oil? It’s a staple there. Maybe that accounts for it. An olive oil boom soon reached Japan. What’s good for the Greeks and Italians must be good for the Japanese.

It sounds plausible but it’s not true, Shukan Gendai (Jan 14-21) hears from Dr Masako Okuda, author of a recent book whose long title expresses its main point: “The constitutions of Japanese are different from the constitutions of Europeans.”

“Japanese people’s internal organs absorb more fat than the internal organs of Europeans or Americans,” she explains. Environmental differences make for genetic differences which give different foods different health merits for different races, she argues. Mediterranean people consume olive oil which gets stored as harmless subcutaneous fat. Japanese people consume olive oil and unwittingly fatten their organs, raise their blood pressure and harden their arteries. Priding themselves on heightened health consciousness, they are in fact increasing the health risks they mean to combat – all because they assume the human body basically functions similarly wherever it has evolved.

If that in fact is the assumption, it’s a relatively new one. A generation ago a fashionable ideology called “Nihonjinron” claimed Japanese bodies were unique – as were, according to an extended form of the argument, Japanese language, culture and thought patterns generally. Nihonjinron filtered into international trade negotiations, Japanese negotiators maddening their foreign interlocutors with one form or another of it in defense of protectionism against the import of foreign food and other products deemed harmful to Japanese, however safe elsewhere.

Internationalism and globalism, as they advanced, made Nihonjinron seem to look rather silly, and it soon fell by the wayside – with such results as olive oil booms and the mass appeal, media-fuelled, of foreign health products, foreign diets and so on which, to Okuda, are potentially harmful. It’s not Japanese uniqueness she’s affirming, but the uniqueness of every racial – which is to say genetically distinct – group.

Another example – this will hit some people hard – is red wine. The heart-disease-reducing, anti-aging benefits of organic chemicals called polyphenols are much touted. Red wine is rich in polyphenols. How nice. As we drink, we can bask in the glow of the good we’re doing ourselves. Okuda hates to spoil the party but feels she must. Polyphenols are readily available elsewhere – in fruits, green and yellow vegetables, soybeans and other non-alcoholic produce. Alcohol, she says, can be carcinogenic, especially in Japanese, roughly half of whom are constitutionally short, compared to westerners, of a particular enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. That’s no argument against drinking in moderation, but it may be one against over-imbibing red wine as though it were an unmixed blessing, a fountain of youth.

Milk is another case in point. Milk contains calcium, calcium builds bones – what better defense, then, against osteoporosis? But, counters Okuda, Japanese consume half as much calcium as Americans and yet are strikingly less prone to bone disease. Perhaps milk too promotes what it purports to cure? Bone disease rates are high in New Zealand and Sweden too, where milk is consumed in quantity.

And coffee. Besides being delicious, coffee is calming when you’re tense, stimulating when you’re low. It’s the caffeine that does it – and does other things as well, such as, Okuda tells Shukan Gendai, producing anxiety especially in Japanese, who are culturally prone to it in any case, unlike Africans and Americans, who can drink it with relative impunity. Asians in general, Okuda claims, are genetically unarmed against caffeine’s worse effects – with the exception, she points out, of the Chinese, who seem to take it in stride.

© Japan Today

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Genetic variance is bigger between Africans than European and Asians. Does every African need to have a different diet? I don't think so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it right for Japanese bodies? Well lets try it out on a few million Chinese and find out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had a Japanese doctor say to me once that Japanese children have stronger immune systems to western babies as they have more hair when they're born . LOL when I said that MANY southern European children / middle eastern children have a full head of hair when they're born they must have the strongest immune systems in the world. He just answered with a smile. lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sounds like just another empty white coat, to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fred WallaceJAN. 26, 2017 - 06:07PM JST

True. But not the entire population of a country. That's plain baloney!!

Lactose intolerance, % of population

UK: 0% - 15%

Japan: 80% - 100%

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance#/media/File:Worldwide_prevalence_of_lactose_intolerance_in_recent_populations.jpg

Alcohol Flush Reaction, % of population

UK: 0%

Japan: 42% (38% + 4%)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/ALDH2_rs671_genotype_frequency.png

Surely not the entire population, but significant difference.

As the research on human DNA advances, we will know more and more DNA related (therefore ancestor/tribe related) symptoms. You have to make a choice to deny the difference or to embrace the difference.

What’s good for the Greeks and Italians must be good for the Japanese.

The answer is no.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Genetic markers show that the Koreans and Chinese are not the direct descendants of the Japanese. The markers show that South East Asia is in general. Do not let the eyes fool you.

I love Olive Oil and olives and find no issues with them. I cannot tolerate milk at all. I cannot tolerate red wine either. It like to clean out my body. I can have ten cups of coffee and then lay down and go to sleep.

This doctor is a sham.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are people who have diarrhea whenever they intake olive oil. The ratios of such people differ among races. The same is true with lactose intolerance, alcohol intolerance and so on.

True. But not the entire population of a country. That's plain baloney!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is interesting to see people who preach diversity cannot tolerate difference.

There are people who have diarrhea whenever they intake olive oil. The ratios of such people differ among races. The same is true with lactose intolerance, alcohol intolerance and so on.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@cleo: I didn't think I had to state the obvious but I guess I did ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

before the war, when the Japanese tribe ate mostly foods they had always eaten, the average lifespan was only 55 ...

In prewar Britain, the average life expectancy was 59.5 for females, 52.9 for males.

We've all seen improvements from a more varied, richer diet, not just Japan. And it's not only food, of course; better hygiene and medical care play a very important part.

All the 'this country is different', 'that country is special' arguments are just so much hot air. We're all just people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So much that one could say but so little time ... before the war, when the Japanese tribe ate mostly foods they had always eaten, the average lifespan was only 55 ... it wasn't too many years ago that elderly Japanese women who were literally doubled over from "bone disease" were seen on every street - I have never seen that anywhere else in the world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is "Japanese Body" ??

For that matter, and what is "European body"?

Kuchi gomi indeed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a wonder the average Japanese doesn't get constipation more often.

The majority of J-women are permanently constipated and/or taking treatment for it. They are anemic too. Pharmacies have a full linear for each condition. My doc (that worked a few years in the US and in China), he was saying that was due to their being Japanese.... but not that they'd have "different bodies", not that the 'traditional' Japanese diet or lifestyle would cause. It is because they tend to have the same bad habits of modern society, yes, it's eating too much rice, bread and cakes for not enough fruits and veggies. Another thing is many have not enough muscles on purpose as the fashion is to look as frail and soft as possible...

Where in the article does she say this?

That starts in the title, then all the remarks like "carcinogenic, especially in Japanese"... As if alcohol and excess of oil were good for non-Japanese. It's particurly stupid as the J-people that have wine and olive oil tend to intake less alcool and less fat than the sake-sochu tempura-everything-katsu traditionalists.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But, but, but...Japanese have longer intestines than westerners because they eat more vegetables in their diet and westerners eat more meat.

From what I see at my local cafeteria, the typical lunch consists a big bowl of white rice, fried meat of the day, and as vegetable - shreds of raw cabbage. Almost as crazy as when Paula Deen made that fried cheesecake and added a piece of mint as 'vegetable'. Otherwise it's a big bowl of ramen with the usual toppings - char siu, or other meat, and as vegetables, a piece of seaweed or a few cut up spring onions. It's a wonder the average Japanese doesn't get constipation more often.

total BS, Japanese have only been around as a nationality for about 3000years, they derived their genetics from other Asian cultures which also trace back to Africa

The Yayoi migrants came from what is now called China probably just less than 3000 years ago, but somehow 3000 years is enough to make them react differently to caffeine? Yeah, she's going in the right direction - probably Japanese are psychologically weaker and that psychological fear of caffeine translates to physical fear and reaction.

But, counters Okuda, Japanese consume half as much calcium as Americans and yet are strikingly less prone to bone disease.

This is a problem of drinking dairy milk, period. Nothing to do with who drinks it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

total BS, Japanese have only been around as a nationality for about 3000years, they derived their genetics from other Asian cultures which also trace back to Africa. 3000years is nowhere near long enough for the human body to evolve into a genetically different strain as this so called doctor is insinuating, personal opinions don't trump scientific evidence for which she has none.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

According to this woman Japanese bodies are unique among all humans

Where in the article does she say this?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Finally an explanation why I have been misdiagnosed on too many occasions by Japanese doctors. They have no experience with "different constitutions" and by that logic are incompetent to treat non-Japanese.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There is no evidence to support these ridiculous claims.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ok. I've read the article. Let me get this straight. Japanese can't eat olive oil, drink red wine or alcohol and consume milk. Putting this together with the well known fact that Japanese can only eat one type of rice, can't go outside without a mask and getting sick, I'm really having trouble seeing the uniqueness here. Actually, it seems to be the opposite case. Meanwhile, I'm glad I'm not unique, and that my body is ordinary run of the mill biology, physiology, machinery. I can happily enjoy olive oil by the bottle full (love it). I can drink two bottles of red wine in one sitting (love my unsophisticated machinery for that). Milk, basmati rice, jasmine rice, even Japanese rice, all good. Bring'em forward.

Building yourself up by constantly searching for differences to exploit on behalf of your self esteem isn't true self-respect and confidence at all. It means you're not being a subject but an object. And an object isn't an agent. It's passive. Gaining a sense of yourself and confidence passively provides an artificial foundation for yourself to stand up on. It looks pathetic. Something like nihonjinron is needed as makeshift support when you don't have a solid foundation to stand on.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

it's the four seasons argument applied to food. Crazy

All it takes is another wacko like this doctor to remind the world that Japan still has a racial problem resonating from the 1930's.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

" Japan affords gaijin 1 st world standards of living compared to their countries " That's a pretty piss poor generalisation. How is the standard of living in Japan higher than say Australia or Canada? Look at how many Japanese are living in those 2 countries as an example vs how many Aussies / Canadians are living in Japan. Funny how many Japanese have escaped J-land for those greener pastures not wanting to enjoy the superior standards of living here.

As for Italy and Greece....Japan maybe " far wealthier " on paper but look at surveys that have asked people how happy they are living in their respective countries. Japan is way down....

Now awaiting the inevitable " if you don't like Japan then leave " response in 3,2,1....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mediterranean people generally live a far more well-balanced lifestyle. They are not worked into the ground and treated like a commodity.

wrt 'unique' body types, has been proven that most east Asians are lactose intolerant - unable to consume dairy products(milk, cheese, etc) without excess flatulence and bowel drama.

Same goes for alcohol, despite its popularity, most east Asians are simply unable to process the alcohol as efficiently as caucasians.

People all over the world have developed specific physical traits to deal with their environment, diet, and available/or lack of resources.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

This sounds a lot of BS to me but she does make a tiny point about some genetic differences but not huge like she is saying. I remember in college that Oceanic people were more prone to obesity due to a small genetic marker that helps them retain more body mass. This was believed to be so that they could basically survive long voyages at sea. This makes sense since you want to have as much body mass as possible.

Though her logic sounds like shes taking the genetic thing and running it all the way the rabbit hole.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This from a Japanese person who thinks that a food is a diet. The Japanese fad dieting is natural response to a country that is suckers for marketing- they just swallow everything that a big company puts to them without thought. Next she will saying that Japanese eating bananas and not being perfectly well means that vegetarianism is bad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

T commentators using any opportunity available to unleash their poorly hidden sense of superiority to the Japanese people.

Yeah yeah, yeah, usual victim attitude when anyone brings critical point of view about Japanese. We heard it already, you don't need to come up with this one again.

Cornell University http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2005/06/lactose-intolerance-linked-ancestral-struggles-climate-diseases

How is this related to the theory developed in the article saying that Japanese have a unique body type? The article specially refers to lactose intolerance among Asians (not specifically Japanese) and Africans. Moreover the conclusion presented is questionnable as a more recent study showed "that ancient Europeans could not tolerate lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted an agricultural way of life and 4,000 years after Neolithic farmers in Central Europe began making cheese. "

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/ancient-europeans-lactose-intolerant-for-5-000-years-1.1974436

The study therefore suggests that Europeans were also lactose intolerant but adapted with the increase of milk consumption. No gene or uniqueness of body type involved.

National Institutes of Health https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/alcohol-flush-signals-increased-cancer-risk-among-east-asians

Again how is this related to the theory developed in the article saying that Japanese have a unique body type? The article refers to East Asians, not specifically to Japanese. Although people who have a deficiency in the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 that metabolizes alcohol do show a facial flushing symptom (36% of East Asians - Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans - apparently do according to the study), the high proportion of esophageal cancer attributed to alcohol in these populations can't fully be explained by this factor.

The map showing death from esophageal cancer per million persons in 2012

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esophageal_cancer#USA

indicates a high number of deaths not only in Asia but also in some countries in Europe or Africa. Now this may suggests that the esophageal cancer attributed to alcohol is high in these countries because the consumption of alcohol is simply also very high there, not because there is some uniqueness of body type.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

F4HA604 Sense of superiority, or sense of equality?

Nice links but neither of them differentiate Japan from other, huge swathes of the earth, neither by population or geography. Asians are different from Europeans, sure. But Japanese are completely different from every other nationality? That's the kind of smug, ethnocentric viewpoint commentors here are reacting to.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Once again, JT commentators using any opportunity available to unleash their poorly hidden sense of superiority to the Japanese people.

Cornell University http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2005/06/lactose-intolerance-linked-ancestral-struggles-climate-diseases

National Institutes of Health https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/alcohol-flush-signals-increased-cancer-risk-among-east-asians

Its only absurd when Japanese people proclaim it right?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Yep this stuff is a total NON TARIFF barrier, this kind of ""thinking"" is seen in lots of area's in Japan

My favourite was when Japan's trade officials tried to ban foreign-made skis because 'Japanese snow is different.' Must have been this broad's parents.

RM, haha you beat me to it I was going to ask how J-snow fit into these theories LOL!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Great... now I'm going to have to listen all week to how the "Japanese metabolism is different" after spending much of last year hearing how "Japanese have lower body temperatures" (and that's why I like cold weather). Such ignorance!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So according to Nihonjinron Japanese metabolism is completely and totally different for even that of Koreans ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My favourite was when Japan's trade officials tried to ban foreign-made skis because 'Japanese snow is different.' Must have been this broad's parents.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Japanese MINDS are certainly unique in the way that I have never met so many people who think the same thing and are easily led around by a single person.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Any pure Nihonjin who can gobble down stuff like natto ,can damn well hadle any other food stuff thrown at them , lol :-)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They're not right for any bodies. Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Full stop.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I finally gave up reading this when it states Chinese can handle coffee while Japanese can't - same genetic group!!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

What is this Japanese Eugenics!?

There is NO Japanese race! Doesn't exist. No such thing.

Japanese are made of of several smaller ethinc groups including Yamato and Ainu which originate from the North-East Asian ethnic group (Chinese, Koreans, Mongolians).

You can thank Meiji era leaders for this myth among the Japanese population that they are genetically unique.

Anyway, humans are 99.999% identical genetically any 'differences' are so minuscule to be invalid.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

More Nihonjinron malarkey.

This is just a way for her to make some yen. She probably doesn't even believe it herself, but there is a large segment of the population who eat it up.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And Japanese bodies are not unique, and don't have lower body temperatures, or anything else so ridiculous.

But, but, but...Japanese have longer intestines than westerners because they eat more vegetables in their diet and westerners eat more meat.

(Just another excuse for this woman, but she does not realize it just means she is full(er) of shite!)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

which give different foods different health merits for different races, she argues.

How can someone who speak about races be taken seriously? This woman is not a doctor, she is a fool. Science and genetics have proven that there are no races among the human kind, there just isn't.

But here we are in 2017 and this silly person trying again with the Japanese rhetoric we heard so often from the people of this country, a rhetoric which continues to make them appear isolated and not intelligent.

There is no genetics involved or a uniqueness of Japanese body here. It's all about cultural food practices and adaptation. Even if true that Japanese metabolism may have difficulties to cope with certain food diets coming from outside the country, this has nothing to do with genetics or body type. This is more explained by the fact that the items listed in this article have not been consumed at all until fairly recently or continue to be consumed in a limited way in the country. With time, human body adapts and those difficulties basically disappear. Trying to argue for example that somehow there is an unique Japanese gene that prevents people here to drink coffee is just pathetically ridiculous.

Many foreigners coming to Japan have also difficulties to cope with the Japanese diet supposedly called "healthy" (I question that but ok...). Based on her logic, is it then because they have a unique body type? So what makes a unique body type of a Japanese or someone from another ethnicity unique then? Since then there are by definition as much "unique" body types as there are ethnicities, the notion of uniqueness of the Japanese body type is non-sense.

Now if this woman wants to say something interesting, she should better bring to attention the constant and bizarre increase of horribly underweight people amount the Japanese population.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"personally, I think that what masako is espousing is discrimination mixed with protectionism. Her comments reek of both but I can't seem to make up my mind whether her end game is pure discrimination or protectionism through the belief that Japanese are inherently different from the rest of the human race. And if the Japanese are inherently different than the rest of humanity, doesn't that mean that in the effort to be different, they LOSE some of that humanity- that they somehow become less human, because after all they are different? Its a double edged sword.

Nihonjinron filtered into international trade negotiations, Japanese negotiators maddening their foreign interlocutors with one form or another of it in defense of protectionism against the import of foreign food and other products deemed harmful to Japanese, however safe elsewhere

You know, two can play that game. If I was on the negociating team, here is what I would say to the Japanese delegation: Sorry, we are not going to allow you to sell your cars in our country, because you see, Japanese people are very small and have short legs, so your cars are not suitable for our big people.

Fighting fire with fire can sometimes work, but what about fighting BS with BS?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

More pseudoscientific drivel for the populace to embrace.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder if she blames Japan’s high incidence of gastric cancer on foreign foods too?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

personally, I think that what masako is espousing is racism mixed with protectionism. Her comments reek of both but I can't seem to make up my mind whether her end game is pure racism or protectionism through the racist belief that Japanese are inherently different from the rest of the human race. And if the Japanese are inherently different than the rest of humanity, doesn't that mean that in the effort to be different, they LOSE some of that humanity- that they somehow become less human, because after all they are different? Its a double edged sword.

Nihonjinron filtered into international trade negotiations, Japanese negotiators maddening their foreign interlocutors with one form or another of it in defense of protectionism against the import of foreign food and other products deemed harmful to Japanese, however safe elsewhere

You know, two can play that game. If I was on the negociating team, here is what I would say to the Japanese delegation: Sorry, we are not going to allow you to sell your cars in our country, because you see, Japanese people are very small and have short legs, so your cars are not suitable for our big people.

Fighting fire with fire can sometimes work, but about fighting BS with BS?

Moderator: The word racism has no place in this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just this week there was a Japanese TV health show extolling the nutritional values of eating peanut butter. I'll bet viewers who trust what the show's talents say will be stocking up on mashed up legumes. Unfortunately most of the peanut butter sold here is loaded with sugar, salt and who knows what else, limiting the nutritional value it might have. Interestingly this show often repeats that Japanese people have unique physical characteristics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I know this kind of stuff gets dangerously close to "my race is better than yours," but there are actual differences between races. The obvious one is skin color, with darker, melanin rich skin prevalent in sunnier regions where it's needed. Lactose intolerance also seems to be more prevalent among Asians, so it doesn't seem that farfetched that olive oil might have varying affects between races...

But I agree, there needs to be repeated studies and peer reviews, and Japanese doctors often make health claims without them (collagen, gargling, etc.).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese doctors and academics are not subject to strict peer review and scientific method where results must be reproducible.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There a guy (Chris Voight) in Washington State USA back in 2010 who lost 21 pounds in 60 days by only eating potatoes. His state was banning potatoes in schools so he wanted to prove that they were nutritious and anyone can live off potatoes if you needed to. The weight loss was an unintentional side effect.

Lots of things are good out there, but it'll depend on what marketing firms allow you to know and what society's level of ignorance allows you to do

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Dr Masako Okuda, author of a recent book whose long title expresses its main point: “The constitutions of Japanese are different from the constitutions of Europeans.”*

This sentence at the start of the article is the key - this woman is just another of a long line of "experts" trying to enjoy a bit of a TV /media spotlight and make some bucks flogging her book with her " new research ( assumptions )". Same old tired - we Nihonjin are so unique , so please buy my book so you can feel better knowing that you too are special. She is probably already planning a follow up with a " breakthrough "Healthy diet " kind of a book /product line. The next "expert" is already lined up behind her, ready to step up next week.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Pukey2 good one, yeah now there is going to be several days of morning TV dedicated to the uniqueness of the Japanese intestine....great...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

“Japanese people’s internal organs absorb more fat than the internal organs of Europeans or Americans,” she explains.

People are right to dismiss the idea that this is unique to Japanese people, but this is a real thing that does actually affect Asian people since there are real genetic difference in fat distribution between Asians and most other races.

To explain it very simply, as children (of every race) the fat cells in our bodies are generally evenly distributed. This is why whenever you see a fat child they have a fat face, fat fingers, fat arms, fat legs etc. But once most people hit puberty, additional fat cells develop in concentrated areas such as the hips, buttocks and stomach. This is why we can see European adults with a massive beer belly but a normal looking thin face. However, this additional concentration of fat cells after puberty is far less pronounced in Asian people and they maintain an even distribution into adulthood. That's why most sumo wrestlers (and Kim Jong-Un) tend to look like big babies. The idea here is that this more even distribution of fat might lead the organs to become fatter than they would if Asian people also had larger concentrations of fat like other races.

Studies have been done on this (and the Asian subjects just happened to be Japanese rather than Chinese):

The DXA and MRI scans of the 30 white and 30 Japanese women, published in 2011, showed much more trunk fat and percentage of abdominal visceral fat in the Japanese than in the white women. Japanese women had higher trunk-to-peripheral-fat ratios and a greater percentage of liver fat and were twice as likely to have fatty livers as whites, the data showed

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779072

As with most Nihonjinron myths they are usually based on a grain of truth about Asian people generally, but then twisted to make it seem like it only applies to the Japanese.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Calm down, what is it with this "racist" nonsense, its just an article on diet and observations (sort of). The only racist here is you.

Ah our troll of the day is back. No. she is a racist and so are you.

Moderator: If you ever call another poster a racist again, you will be suspended from the discussion board. Learn to be tolerant of opposing views or find another discussion board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did she mention intestine length?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Sounded fairly plausible until the end. Japanese and certain other Asian populations often consume MUCH more caffeine than Westerners. Green tea is loaded with caffeine, for example. However, the only ones who seem to deal with it badly are the ones who have certain bad lifestyles, that's not genetics or necessarily even the caffeine, that's just working for a crappy company.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What is "Japanese Body" ??

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I'll tell you what's not right for the world's unique human bodies that are Japanese in its unique for seasons: suddenly changing your diet overnight to foods you've never heard of, or even foods you HAVE heard of but don't eat that often. I can't tell you how many fad diets I've seen the nation go through in my time here -- averages about two a year that the whole populace goes nuts over -- and all because of these stupid TV specials or tabloids. So far this year it's been "leek diet" and now this. Rapid changes help nothing, unless it's quitting a terrible habit to begin with.

And Japanese bodies are not unique, and don't have lower body temperatures, or anything else so ridiculous.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Is this woman a real doctor?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This article should be put under a section entitled "KUCHI GOMI" which would be translated as "Mouth Garbage."

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I know JapanToday likes to post clickbait, but what I hope they will do is cite a few peer-reviewed scientific journals that show beyond a doubt that "We Japanese" have unique bodies, unique fat-absorption organs, and unique seasons. Doubt that will happen in my lifetime, though. This doctor is just recycling Nihonjin-ron arguments; maybe her book has more sources - proof - evidence.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Mediterranean people consume olive oil which gets stored as harmless subcutaneous fat. Japanese people consume olive oil and unwittingly fatten their organs, raise their blood pressure and harden their arteries.

Mediterranean people generally live a far more well-balanced lifestyle. They are not worked into the ground and treated like a commodity. They are also generally able to choose what they like to eat and what agrees with their body.

But of course, the Japanese are physiologically unique and came from the sun and all that...

14 ( +18 / -4 )

These articles are always good for a laugh.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

She's a racist. Pure and simple.

Asians in general, Okuda claims, are genetically unarmed against caffeine’s worse effects – with the exception, she points out, of the Chinese, who seem to take it in stride.

Well I hope she is against Japanese drinking green tea since it too has caffeine. Is she opposed to THAT??

Idiot.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Twaddle. There's more than one non sequitur in these arguments. Lots of gaps in correlation/causation. No citing of any science there may be to back up the claims.

Consumed in moderation, any of the items discussed do no harm to any bodies--Japanese or otherwise--unless you have a severe intolerance or allergy. As part of a balanced and varied diet the foods and beverages listed may offer some health benefit in addition to the gastronomic pleasure of enjoying them. To create disease by enjoying anything cited above, you'd have to have grossly overindulged for years.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Internationalism and globalism, as they advanced, made Nihonjinron seem to look rather silly, and it soon fell by the wayside

Oh no it hasn't. It's alive and well. Perhaps eschewing the more obviously ridiculous theories of uniqueness but getting more sophisticated. There are university departments that generate this stuff. Their whole purpose is to not show a general principle but a particular and decisive one for Japan and the Japanese in various fields, though psychology is a favourite.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I really hope there's some actual serious science behind this (doubtful), or else it's just contributing to the nihonjinron.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Baloney. She is one those quacks who believes that Japanese bodies are unique, only Japan has four seasons and so on.

...and only mislabeled and JAS approved food is right for Japanese bodies.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

“Japanese people’s internal organs absorb more fat than the internal organs of Europeans or Americans,

Oh hell, waiting for the guano-storm on this one here.....PUHLEEZZ....if you are talking about Caucasians vs Mongoloid, ok, maybe there are some physiological differences but then you had better include all of the following people too... Mongol, Chinese & Indochinese, Korean, etc etc etc.....

Right, it's just this doctor wanting to make a point, Japanese are "special".

23 ( +25 / -2 )

. It’s not Japanese uniqueness she’s affirming, but the uniqueness of every racial – which is to say genetically distinct – group.

Baloney. She is one those quacks who believes that Japanese bodies are unique, only Japan has four seasons and so on.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

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