How American and Japanese Diet Are Different

Rikako Fujita, Japan

When I came here, I suffered from the differencies food between America and Japan. First, we have cultural difference about foods. Japanese always eat rice, on the other hand, Americans eat bread or pasta which are made from wheat everyday. Surprisingly, Americans only eat meat a few times a week. In Japan,  it is thought that Americans eat a kind of beef, like steak,everyday. In fact, Americans usually eat chicken instead of beef. Furthermore, there are times when Americans  do not eat  food made from animals. I feel unsatisfied with the diet here because I have only eaten meat a few times.


This is a Japanese dinner which is served at hotels It is a gorgeous dinner. But most Japanese eat roughly like this everyday.


American dinner is always like this.

On the other hand, Japanese eat meat and fish everyday. We always eat rice, miso soup, and a dish including meat. This is why, from Japanese perspective,  the American diet seems like an unbalanced diet. We have been told ” we must keep a balanced diet.”  ”We should eat vegetables and some meat and a carbohydrate from the time we are  very young age. This is why children are supposed to be prohibited from  eating snacks by their mother.


This is a kind of miso soup, Tonjiru; it includes many vegetables and pork. It is very nutritious.

Surprisingly, American kids eat bread with peanut butter and Nutella as breakfast. These things are massively caloric and do not have sufficient nutrition. I regard these foods as afternoon snacks. I think small children should eat low calorie food daily.


All Japanese girls and women aim to have a skinny body like this. They often crash diet, so there are times when they eat only 500 calories a day.

In Japan, there are so many skinny people from a global perspective. One reason is genetic, another is healthy diet. At the time of old age, in Japan we can not intake animal food except fish. This is why we eat relatively healthy food everyday culturally. There are few people who eat peanut butter and Nutella. Thus, vegetarians have a difficult time being accepted because, if we are not vegetarian, we can not eat a healthy diet. Also, in America, there is a belief that does not accept animal food in order to protect animals from abuse. While in Japan, we have an appreciation for all life when we eat something. This is why we say ”Itadakimasu” which means Thank you every time we eat.

There are these differences between our two countries. Each country’s  thoughts should be respected and admired, but I think it might take a little bit of time to accept each other’s eating habits.




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