Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why Starbucks is Like Godzilla

On Monday I had a chance to catch up with one of my good friends who has spent the last five years living in Japan. He was back in Canada for a wedding, and since I haven't seen him in years it was definitely time to catch up.

Of course, the conversation eventually turned to Nutrition, and I learnt an eye-opening fact about some disturbing trends in Japan.

According to my friend, Starbucks is making a push to get a foot-hold in the Japanese market. Kind of like Godzilla, only without the death and destruction.

While this shouldn't be shocking to any of us (after all, while visiting China I saw a Starbucks INSIDE the forbidden city!), what is shocking is the effect that Starbucks is having on some of the Japanese nutrition customs.

In Japan it is a centuries-old tradition that you don't drink while walking.

And this poses a huge dilemma for the Starbucks crowd.

Since space is very hard to come by in Japan, many of the Starbucks shops are walk-up "express" versions with little to no seating. Basically, if you want your Starbucks, you are going to have to walk with it.

And guess what - People are walking with their Starbucks. Starbucks is single-handedly destroying centuries of Japanese tradition.

This is a perfect example of a soon-to-be extinct custom that once prevented people from eating while they are distracted. And it fits perfectly with the stories I have been telling you from the book,"Mindless Eating".

In this incredible book there are examples of many other mindless eating methods that have replaced our own nutrition customs. (i.e. If you read it you'll find out what eating in front of the TeeVee has done to us, rather than eating around the dinner table).

So not only are these eating customs "sacred", but they also serve a purpose. In fact, I believe that the disappearance of traditional eating customs is one of the largest factors in our current obesity problem.

If you don't already have your own set of "nutrition customs" perhaps it's time you thought about adopting some.

Here is an easy one for all of you commuters out there. For the rest of this week, do not eat in your car. You can drink, just no food. This rule will help you keep your car clean AND save you from some mindless distracted eating.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


PS- Summer is here so...

...strength coach John Barban is back running his summer conditioning camp. You can read about the first day of camp HERE.

Fasting Diet, Circuit Training

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