What do Taiwanese people do to stay skinny?


They eat SO much fatty food, they should be fat, but they arent.


Just live like a taiwanese for a while and you will see it. ^^
I think it is a combination of factors. The whole lifestyle, e.g. the hot weather, the fact that you have to run around a lot every day (ok depends on your friends but I learned that trips into the city together with taiwanese can be quite active) and then compared to european style meals, taiwanese meals actually are not that energy-rich. Like there’s white rice and some vegetables but how much do you need to eat of that to feel full? For me that’s almost impossible. No wonder that one or two hours later they need to stop again to buy some snacks. It’s not like Germany where you eat you 300gr of whole-wheat bread for breakfast and then basicly don’t need to eat anything up until the afternoon. ^^

Regarding body-movement, I observed that contrary to europe where people who think they are too fat go to the gym and exercise, taiwanese seem to rather choose the option to minimize their food-intake. They just eat less, especially the girls. The girls here seem to be rather skeptical towards exercise, apart from walking around/shopping/going to the night market etc. The boys sometimes like to do exercise, but that’s just a joke compared to Germany. Like we would take the bike to ride the 5km down to the beach and then come back. For me that’s just a warm-up, I would rather ride another 90km afterwards but for them that’s no option. On the other hand without doubt there are some very ambitioned people here, I just think that the average taiwanese is not soo much interested in exercise.
Like when you observe the cyclists with their nice colorful cloths and racing-bikes here carefully you can notice that many of them are not actually fit but move around in snail-tempo, taking pictures all the time etc. ^^ Like a friend of mine has a 50,000NTD bike with the main purpose of taking the dog for a 7km walk every day .


Most people get fat from eating starch not fats.
BMI can still be high here though.


A broth based diet.


Smaller portions. Genetics.


I like seeing the ones stopped at a 7-11 having a smoke break.


Smaller portions and different diet than in the US and other places (but that’s changing). Do you guys like musicals? I mean the real ones like Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, Singing in the Rain, etc.? You’ll notice that NOBODY is fat in those movies made in the 50s and earlier. Then something happened in the 70s and 80s in the US, and now a good percentage of the population is fat. I came to Asia in '89 and stayed more years here than in the US since. I noticed the portions getting bigger and bigger and bigger over the years on my trips back home. I also noticed people getting bigger starting in around the 90s. A lot bigger. So again back to Taiwan, smaller portions and different diet (not so much sugar, for example).


There’s some some good presentations out there that show the fat 'virus’as it enters different countries. Europe was behind the US now it’s Asia’s turn.

I suspect the major interlinked factors are

bigger portions of cheap food
less home cooking
eating frozen and processed foods
…and driving cars

Commuting long distances by car seems to be a real killer.
I’ve seen it in people I know, they balloon up. Major part due to lack of exercise but also because they may snack in the car. Many of the fatter people I know here also drive or scooter everywhere. My American colleagues all must drive to work, average commute is an hour. Every little town has Dunkin donuts and McD, they get takeout breakfast at those places. The quick hit from the coffee and the sugar and the oil is addictive. My british colleague and his partner also became much bigger after moving there.

I suspect the major reasons Japanese are slim is

They eat smaller portions as food is expensive
They almost all take public transport to work and often have to stand for long periods. Importantly they have to walk or bike to and from the stations. I don’t think many Japanese actively exercise.

Working longer hours may be bad for you but it doesn’t seem to make you fat of itself.

PS when I smoked I was the thinnest I’ve been as an adult.

PPS The biggest predictor of whether somebody will be obese is if they are fat already. Same for individuals and whole populations.

The scary thing is that obesity rates are still going in the US AND EUROPE at something like 1% a year.


Less government subsidized high-fructose corn syrup?


Eat smaller portions it seems. They probably don’t eat as much sugar like Americans do.

As an example, Indians are skinny in India, but they come to the USA and bam morph into fat asses after a few years if they adopt the American diet.


Cyclists over in Europe have a saying for those kinds of guys, MAMIL, middle aged men in lycra. They got the money and the gear, but don’t put it to good use. Honestly, whatever makes them happy. Not everyone loves the no pain no gain approach.

To be very honest, some locals don’t go the extra mile(s) because exercise was never part of their way of life…so they aren’t sure how or why. School/work/family was their life (and in that order).

However, their has been a major increase in government backed sports activities and I think the Universiade events in August will get some people moving.

True being that if you walk into a convenient store in Taiwan, there’s a whole section where it’s sugarless tea and not to mention the make to order drink shops. Whereas in the states, it’s soda, soda, soda, DIET soda, sweetened iced tea.

People of Taipei are a little more conscious about sugar intake, whereas those from Taizhong/Kaohsiung/Tainan tend to eat more sugary. Observations mostly come from going to the tea drink shops with friends from the south. They tend to never adjust sugar or ice levels.


The sugarless tea selection is pretty awesome in 711.

Drinking sodas in Taiwan is fairly uncommon amongst adults,. In the US it seems the norm.


Don’t need to be a Cambridge scholar to figure that one out. Just look at how many selections of soda you see when you open the fridge door.

Hell, not counting Red Bull, I can even remember most of them them off the top of my head. Coke, Coke Zero, Coke Lime?, Sprite, Sarsaparilla, Sarsaparilla zero, Apple Sidra aaand I think I’m missing maybe one or two.


Coca cola closed down their Kaohsiung plant recently.


Diet soda is sugarless. Usually it has practically zero calories. I used it to great effect to lose weight once upon a time.


I think brother ranlee gets that.


Fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat. It only does so with a very specific confluence of factors:

  1. Sugary drinks (as several people pointed out above). Continually topping up with a Coke (or whatever) is guaranteed to make you fat - not just because the sugar itself has nowhere else to go, but the ensuing insulin rush forces any other excess energy into fat storage (including whatever fat you’ve eaten).

  1. Highly-processed grains. Americans are endlessly gorging on squishy white bread (thanks, USDA; 6-11 servings a day, really??) which has the same metabolic fate as sugar.

  2. Sedentary jobs. When you eat starchy food, energy enters your bloodstream at a peak rate of about 1000kcal/hour, or 1100W, implying a matching mechanical power output of 200+ watts. Nobody works that hard these days.

There’s no way of guessing what other factors in processed food might be responsible - there are all sorts of chemicals and non-foods (eg., soya derivatives) that might act as endocrine disruptors, for example, but who knows?

Here are the USDA guidelines.

If you wanted to write guidelines designed to make people fat, this is what you’d write. It’s the most appalling pile of unscientific tripe you’ll ever have the misfortune to set eyes on.

Taiwanese people simply don’t eat much sugary food, and surprisingly little rice compared to the American equivalent starch intake. They cook at home instead of eating from a box, or at least eat at a restaurant where the ingredients are just meat and vegetables.The average home-cooked meal involves a small bowlful of rice and plenty of vegetables. A bian dang tends to be heavier on rice because it’s cheaper; you’ll notice people who live on bian dang do get a bit squishy.


Well, very few Taiwanese drink alcohol. I think that’s a big factor.


[quote=“tublairy, post:18, topic:160979, full:true”]
Well, very few Taiwanese drink alcohol.[/quote]

Really?? :astonished:


I wouldn’t say very few, but it’s less popular.

Though it doesn’t make any sense as Koreans drink a lot yet they are probably even thinner.