Various parts of the world experience a difference in the average life expectancy of individuals and this is not totally independent of the difference in eating habits in the various parts of the world. As humans, eating habits have an effect on the health of individuals and a resultant effect on average life expectancy. What people eat is a key determinant in how healthy they would be, and how long they’d get to live. A life based more on junk foods would have a lower life expectancy, as against the healthy diet that comes with consumption of natural products. In this article, we are going to be considering the effect of food habits of persons in the United States of America and persons in the Asian continent, and how these habits have affected the overall health and life expectancy of both regions.
According to the list by the world health organization (2015), the average life expectancy of citizens of Japan, Switzerland, and Singapore are 83.7(1st), 83.4(2nd) and 83.1(3rd) respectively, while that of the United State of America is 79.3 (ranked 31st).
There is a clear difference in the average age of people in these countries, as a result of the constituents of the diet of the people of these countries. Countries with richer food culture tend to have people with a longer lifespan.
The food we eat as human beings have a direct effect on how healthy we are, as it is the food that provides the body with information and materials needed for its proper functionality. When the right information is not passed, there is a breach in the proper metabolism of the body.
America has a lower average life expectancy for both men and women and the reason is not far-fetched. Within the 24 hours in a day, research has it that an average American eats about 14 different type of food substance, ranging from sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, carbonated soft drinks, milk, potatoes, salty snacks, to cereal. Americans are mainly junk eaters, consuming different food substances, and this unhealthy food habit takes a toll on the health of the citizens, resulting in shorter life spans. They are more exposed to diseases.
The standard American Diet is one of the key factors that affect the health of the citizens, with diet and meals full of junk foods. An average American supermarket is full of convenient packages of foods that appeal to the taste bud, but not necessarily the best diet that supplies adequate nutritional value to the body. Though a majority of the food materials are natural, in the refining process, most of the natural nutrients have been removed, hence the need to secure such nutrients from other sources.
Most of the food made in America for Americans have so many synthetic products used in their processing and production, which include artificial color, additives, flavorings, and sweeteners, and these have a negative impact on the health of an individual in the long run.
And in the past years, as a result of the industrialization and activities that have taken place, the natural soil of America had been depleted in natural minerals and nutrients. And from research, there are just four food products that are consumed widely in the US; corn, soy, wheat, and rice. This slim variety of food provides the body with fewer materials needed for its proper functioning.
Americans eat for convenience and not to savor the pleasure of eating, hence, the average age expectancy of the citizens is below expectation.
On the other hand, countries like Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, enjoy longer life expectancy mainly because of the healthy diet the people enjoy. Japan, though a small nation, has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world and has a diet that is rich in carbohydrate, vegetables, fruits coupled with fish and meat. Unlike America with a high degree of synthetic materials, Japan’s meal is high in nutrient and very low in saturated fats. In Japan, there is a balanced intake of energy, grains, vegetables, soy products, fish, alcoholic beverages, confectioneries, and dairy product, mainly because of the food guide released by the government in 2005 for the benefit of the people.
Singapore and Switzerland also follow suit in eating habits and are ranked just behind Japan. These countries have taken the consumption of good food and proper exercise, seriously, and the overall effect of it shows in the health of the citizens, with a very low rate of cardiovascular diseases been recorded in the countries. All other diseases are also at minimum rate in the past years.
The food habit of a country has a direct impact on the life expectancy of the citizens, and America is really not doing well at this, unlike countries like Japan, Switzerland, and Singapore.
There is a huge difference between the Japanese diet and the American diet. Some of the stables of the Japanese diet includes rice, fish, vegetables, and pickles compared to the American diet which comprises of the meat, cheese, dairy products and potatoes.
Americans love to prepare a huge meal, they prefer having leftovers for later consumption. It is a different situation entirely in Japan. A small bowl of rice is usually the main dish which most times is accompanied by a plant-based protein or a fish such as beans, tofu, pickles, soap, and other vegetable-based diets.
Vegetables and fruits; apart from the everyday lifestyle in Japan around 90% of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables according to CDC, compared to the Japanese diet and as said earlier is accompanied by a vegetable dish.
Japanese tends to consume fewer calories and less fat compared to the Americans which in other times explains the small stature of the Japanese.
The Japanese are far more physically active compared to the Americans, which is a major explanation for the lower rate of obesity. In a clear view, this doesn’t mean the Japanese visit the gymnasium more than the Americans, but the Japanese engage more in an unplanned physical activities such as they take a long distance walk from places to places as part of their daily lives. Research has it that in 2002 only 29.7 percent of the Japanese who are 20 years old and above are reported to engage any regular physical exercise (31.6 percent of men and 28.5% of women) (Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, 2002).
Taking into consideration the American diet and daily exercise likewise Japanese, it’s obvious that Japan ranks higher in these two aspects compared to the United States. This can be a major reason why Japan has more life expectancy than the united states.