Longevity is what Japanese people boast to the world. It is believed that Japanese people lead healthy lifestyles. I have read articles that defy this conventional wisdom.
There is a survey that compared serum total cholesterol level in Japan and America. The average serum total cholesterol level of Japanese people was 40mg/dl lower than that of American people’s in 1960. Now, there is not so much of a difference now. What is more, the average serum total cholesterol level of Japanese women has exceeded American women’s that of American women.
This is partly because the American government has encouraged people to exercise regularly, and eat properly. American government also try to control the trans-fat level in foods. However, I think the principal reason for the marked increase in serum cholesterol level in Japan is the change in eating habits over the past 40 years. We prefer westernized foods to traditional Japanese foods. The amount of fat we take has increased more than twice compared to 1960. The fact that McDonald is the only company whose sales has exceeded 500 billion yen among all the whole restaurant industry in Japan seems a symbolic phenomenon in changing dietary habits.
Our current longevity reflects the past lifestyle of Japanese people. Hyperlipidemia causes no symptoms, but it is one of the risk factors of atherosclerosis. We are now developing bad dietary habits that cause serious diseases later. We have to know we are no longer healthy, and develop a proper eating habits as our grandparents did.
“You are what you eat.” という言葉を思い出しました。気をつけねば･･･。