30 Sep, 2015

How to make your family live as healthily as the Japanese

The Telegraph | Cherrill Hicks | 28 September 2015

They may be renowned for sushi and sumo wrestlers – and more recently for their brilliance at rugby – but the Japanese should be celebrated for a less well known phenomenon: being the healthiest people on the planet.

According to a major global analysis in the Lancet, a child born in Japan today will have a longer, healthier life than one born in any other country on earth – including the UK, which did not even make the top 20 countries in the study’s findings for healthy life expectancy; coming in at a dismal 23rd, just below Greece.

Experts think there are several reasons for this achievement, including an impressive healthcare system with universal coverage, strong public health programmes and a more cohesive social structure. But according to the authors of a new book on the subject, Japan’s victory in the “World Health Olympics” is also due to its lifestyle – in particular, a unique approach to food and exercise.