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Daily rice consumption in Japan - 8 servings?

thared33

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I'm doing some research on health and obesity and stumbled upon a wikipedia page which says this:

The dietary intake of Okinawans compared to other Japanese circa 1950 shows that Okinawans consumed: fewer total calories (1785 vs 2068), less polyunsaturated fat (4.8% of calories vs. 8%), less rice (154 grams vs 328g), significantly less wheat, barley and other grains (38 g vs. 153g), less sugars (3g vs. 8g), more legumes (71g vs 55g), significantly less fish (15g vs 62g), significantly less meat and poultry (3g vs 11g), less eggs (1g vs 7 g), less dairy (<1g vs 8 g), much much more sweet potatoes (849g vs 66g), less other potatoes (2g vs 47), less fruit (<1g vs 44g), and no pickled vegetables (0g vs 42).
This was taken from the PDF file located here: http://www.okicent.org/docs/anyas_cr_diet_2007_1114_434s.pdf

The PDF says that rice makes up 54% of the calories of a typical Japanese person in 1950, with the total amount of calories being an average of 2100 kcal rounded off. 1 serving of rice is slightly over 50 grams in weight and is about 150 kcal, so we're looking at nearly exactly 8 servings of rice per day, or nearly 1200 calories per day from rice.

Would you say that this is accurate, and has held this held up until today in Japan 60 years later?
 

undrentide

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Maybe there's some confusion between cooked rice and raw grains.

Rice (cooked) 168kcal/100g
one serving = 160g = 270kcal

Rice (raw grains)
360kcal/100g

図録▽1人1日当たり供給カロリーの推移(主要国)
1960-2011 : between 2,500-2,670kcal(1996)
2011: 2,438kcal
(Based on FAOSTAT "Food Supply" 10-Aug-2014)

日本人1人1日あたりのカロリー摂取量の推移 — 口腔の健康と食育
1946: 1,903kcal
1975: 2,226kcal
2004: 1,902kcal
(Based on the data by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan)

日本ローカーボ食研究会 :: 日本人の総カロリー,蛋白,脂質,炭水化物比の60年間の変化
Ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrate of the total intake energy/day.
80.6% of total energy (1,903kcal) was carbohydrate, i.e. 1,534kcal. This should include rice but not 100%.
If we assume 60% of the total calorie was rice = 1,142kcal = approx. 4 servings of rice
1950 was only 5 years after WW2. Japan had been lacking in food in general, especially rice which was rationed until 1960s... It is hard to imagine that people had that plenty of rice as OP calculated.
 
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thared33

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I took all of the info from the PDF. It says that 54% of the calories they ate were from rice, so if we round off total caloric intake to 2000, that's a bit over 1000 calories. The key here is that while it doesn't mention whether or not it's measured dry or cooked, it does mention 300some grams of rice at least. So rounding off some numbers again, koshihikari rice is a bit over 50 grams per serving (about a quarter cup dry) and is about 150 kcal. Most rice is.

I'm not saying they ate 8 'bowls' or rice, but I can see 6-8 servings per day.

Again, I'm taking from the PDF study.
 

undrentide

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What is your definition of "1 serving"?

If you are talking about rice people eat in Japan, it is usually measured by a rice bowl, and we call 1 rice bowl = 1 serving. An average sized bowl has approx. 160g of cooked rice, and its calorie is approx. 270kcal. If people back then taking about 1,000 kcal from rice, then it must be about 4 servings (4 bowls) of rice.

We never eat rice raw, so unless you want to make some kind of comparison with other countries or something based on rice grains (not cooked rice), insisting 1 serving = 50g = 150kcal does not seem to make much sense to me. If you ask any Japanese person or those living in Japan and eat Japanese cuisine often if people used to eat 8 serving of rice a day, they'd think you are asking if people used to eat 8 bowls of rice a day and will reply "No".
 
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Toritoribe

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I checked the original data of Japan National Nutrition Survey, 1950. The data was gathered separately in the survey; the data in urban areas and in rural areas. The pdf file you provided seems simply to take the average of them.

original data
urban
Total calories 1971.9kcal
Rice (weight in grams) 284.3g
Rice (calories) 985.3kcal(50.0%)
rural
Total calories 2163.1kcal
Rice (weight in grams) 371.3g
Rice (calories) 1276.2kcal(59.0%)
「国民栄養の現状」レポート:昭和25年(1950)
(all in Japanese)
 
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