On Monday I attended a dinner where a doctor from Tokai University Hospital gave a talk about "anti-aging" and the effects of the aging Japan population statistics.
Here are a few facts from the doctor's speech:
+ It took a few thousand years forJapan's population to hit 100 million in 1967. By 2050 - only 93 years later - it is expected to go under 100 million as Japan's population ages & fewer babies are born.
+ 20%+ of the population is over 65. By 2030 that will be closer to 35%.
+ By 2050 Japan's GDP will rank #8 . 1, 2, 3 will be China, India, USA.
Like many countries in the world, Japan is aging, but it still has the longest life expectancy in the world at an average of 82.6 years (males 79; females 86.1). That compares to the USA's 78.2 (M-75.6; F-80.8) and is leaps and bounds ahead of Swaziland's 31.9 average.
Obesity is creeping into Japan (supersize me seems to be the growing motto of some fast food places), but still far behind the USA. Obesity levels: Japan 3.2%; USA 30.6% (Percentage of population with BMI over 30).
Japan is the slimmest industrialized nation and people fight fat to ward off the dreaded metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, or as it is better known here “metabo,” is a combination of health risks including fat around the stomach, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; all issues that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In fact, Japan is so "metabo" concious that the lawmakers actually set a maximum size for waistlines for those 40 and older: 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) for men and 90 cm. (35.4 in.) for women. This "metabo law" is supposed to stave off health risks related to obesity and save money for the national health system in the long run.
This has brought about an upswing in the number of people going to gyms, buying fitness equipment (call right now! operators are standing by!), and guzzling herbal diet remedies in an effort to shed a few kilos. But, some doctors say that many Japanese are already too thin as it is.
One professor of medicine at Tokai University who is also one of the leading critics of the law said, "The amount of food calories which the Japanese intake is decreasing from 10 years ago. So there is no obesity problem as in the USA. To the contrary, there is a problem of leanness in young females.”
I'll attest to that! Just look at the "skinny" young ladies - and in fact many young men - as you walk around the streets of Tokyo. (Note, I haven't noticed this same lean "problem" when visiting the coutryside since people there tend to drive more than walk, hence fewer calories burned per day?)
Now, if I could only come up with a recipe for Metabo Ice Cream.....
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