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Fast Food Popularity In Japan Essay

939 words - 4 pages

“Laughter brightest, where food is best,” is a well-known proverb from Ireland. The lifestyle of the Japanese has been changed since fast food restaurants were introduced to the food industry in Japan. Youth Japanese prefer to eat potato chips instead of Japanese rice crackers, soda drinks pushing aside Japanese tea, and hamburgers sweeping away bowls of rice. In fact, fast foods are high in cholesterol and may influence physical well-being, but the Japanese people still consume fast foods. Hence, why fast food is popular in Japan?

The Japanese perspective of being taller and a bit fatter is supporting the popularity of fast food. As a result of consuming fast foods, the average weight and height of Japanese citizens are increasing. Dan Hilton, a reporter from CBC news has reported that the Japanese women, especially the young generation, have increased over 6 inches taller and 26.5 pounds heavier compare to 1950s (2). The Japanese men also have increased up to 4 inches taller (2). This means the Japanese people and Americans are almost at the same average height. On the other hand, fast foods are unhealthy. It contains a lot of fats. According to Nicole Gaouette from the Health and Welfare Ministry of Japan, one person in three males is overweight when they are getting 30s (1). The rates of childhood obesity also increased almost doubled from 5 per cent to 9 per cent in 1980 to 2004 (Hilton, Dan 2). In addition, Japanese citizens are being threatened by diabetes; about 53 per cent increase within 15 years (Hilton 2). Fast foods may cause sickness but build children to become more tough and active. This will be each parents’ decision to make whether they raise their children to be healthier or stronger.

The environment in Japan advocates the popularity of fast food. Fast food restaurants are taking advantages of the situation in Japan such as a rising middle class and two-career families. These make Japanese people have earned more money and could afford having their meal outside more frequently. The statistic from National Council for the Social Studies has shown that Japan McDonald’s is earning more profit than the average U.S. store does; 47,000 dollars per month in Japan and 40,000 dollars per month in the U.S. (Trygested, JoAnn 2). McDonald’s is more popular in Japan compared to the origin country of fast food, the U.S. Furthermore, the youth Japanese choose fast food restaurants as their place for hang out. A rising middle class encourage parents to give more pocket money to their children and go for hang out with their friends. Beside an income from their parents, youth Japanese have an additional income by doing a part-time job. Moreover, especially for McDonald’s, the managers allow groups of teenagers to chitchat for hours inside restaurants. McDonald’s also publishes a music and media...

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