back next archives
Education about food and nutrition
In short, shokuiku refers to teaching people, particularly children, about every aspect of food, including food safety and nutrition. The aim of shokuiku is to give people the knowledge and ability to choose food and prepare healthy, nutritionally balanced meals on a regular basis. The word became common with the enactment of the Basic Law on Food Education in July 2005.

So why all the fuss about food? The answer can be found in the 2005 Annual Report on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas in Japan, which paints a bleak picture of the situation today. According to the report, 20% of children in elementary school, junior high school, and high school skip breakfast sometimes or often. Between 40% and 50% of children in the upper grades at elementary school and in junior high, and 20% of high school students, attend cram schools after their regular classes, and a significant number of them purchase their dinner or a late-night meal at a convenience store. The report warns that such poor eating habits will lead to a much higher incidence of obesity, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases in the population as a whole, and especially among children. It is hoped that the campaign to educate people about food will get families thinking and talking about this vital subject. (February 3, 2006)