169 Okinawa Today (3)

One of the ways we can determine what foods are the best to eat is to look at people around the world and the Okinawans are an excellent example. There is a very definite pattern to the diet of those who live long, have strength, are joyful and are free of degenerative disease. Have you noticed that?


Since World War II there have been U.S. military bases in Okinawa. There are thousands of military personnel there. Because the soldiers came to Okinawa, unfortunately, the fast food restaurants came too. The typical chains are there. Also, in the 1950s the Japanese government noticed that the children on Okinawa weighed less than the children in the rest of Japan so… they began a school lunch program to “fix” the problem by feeding them whole milk and refined white bread. Oh, no! And yes… the children gained weight. The younger generations are now eating a diet that is more like ours… more calories, more fat, more meat, convenience foods, sugar, corn syrup and, of course… fast food restaurants.


Because of this we have two contrasting diets in one culture involving one group of people (same genes) but two very different diets. What are the health outcomes? Does this group of people have “long lived” genes? Does the culture add years to their lives?


You will not be surprised to find out that the health outcomes for these two groups of people are as different as their diets. The younger generations have the highest level of obesity in Japan. Okinawans in their 40s and 50s are more likely to die of heart attacks, cancer and other degenerative diseases than the elderly! That’s really disheartening. These diseases were rarely, if ever, seen in the older generation. The elderly are going to their grandchildren’s funerals. How sad this is. We just have to observe the people on this small island to fully understand the importance of what we already have learned to be true.


We live in a world that favors unhealthy habits. However, you and I have studied nutrition. We have good information. We know what to do and you and I have been taught how to do it. If you have any questions be sure to ask the Food Coach so that every day you can make a decision to…


Choose Well

Leave a Reply