A Calorie By Any Other Name

I'm working from Sun's Japan office this week.

In Japan when they put the calorie count on the back of a package of food, they usually call it "energy". My egg salad sandwich just now had 136 kcals of Energy. (Those of you who know me know that I had two of them. Ok, three.)

I think this is an example of a healthy relationship with food and what it can do for our bodies. I wonder if there's a connection between calories being expressed in terms of "energy" and the fact that Japan is one of the leanest nations in the world. Probably.

Comments:

WOW! I love that. energy. that's fantastic. and now you made me want an egg salad sandwich, most importantly...mmmmm. :)

Posted by christin on January 04, 2008 at 04:42 PM CST #

I'd say it's a lot of factors, hard to zoom in on one or it would be the same folly as looking at the French consumption of red wine. From what I've seen of Japanese culture food wise, they have much smaller portions, ample high quality protein, good balance. But to your energy point: The healthiest people in the world view food as fuel vs entertainment.

Posted by ThinGuy on January 04, 2008 at 05:21 PM CST #

Thank you so much Melanie for being a regular reader of my blog. Happy new year to you!

Posted by Vasanth Vaidyanathan on January 07, 2008 at 04:45 AM CST #

They print calories as energy here in Blighty too. Odds are it's an EU requirement, so they probably print it that way across the EU (I just looked at a German product, indeed it lists calories as Energiewert).
For the record, there are loads of overweight people here, and even those of reasonable weight are often out of shape. Labeling does not seem to change cultural attitudes towards food here.

Posted by I18n G.A.L. on January 28, 2008 at 02:23 PM CST #

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