Japan’s ‘spinning top’ diet improves longevity


Japan’s ‘spinning top’ diet improves longevity

Sticking to a diet favoured by the Japanese is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly stroke, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal has found.

In 2005, the Japanese government developed the “spinning top” to illustrate the balance and quantity of food recommended daily. A figure running on top represents the importance of exercise.

The order of the food groups is given by the recommended daily servings. At the top there are grain-based dishes (rice, bread, noodles and pasta), followed by vegetable-based dishes (including salads, cooked vegetables and soups), and fish, eggs and meat dishes. At the bottom are milk and fruit.

Researchers, led by Kayo Kurotani at Tokyo’s National Centre for Global Health and Medicine, examined the link between following the guide and overall health.

Men and women who adhered to the plan well had a 15 per cent lower total mortality rate over 15 years.

“Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy … can contribute to longevity by decreasing the risk of death,” said Kurotani.


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