Excessive accumulation of body fat, known as obesity, has become a major global health problem. Among the types of body fat, excessive accumulation of visceral fat located around the viscera can be a cause of life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. These have been termed “lifestyle-related diseases”, as it is considered that various lifestyle habits including diet are involved in visceral fat accumulation. With this background in mind, development of foods and eating styles that do not cause visceral fat accumulation are expected.
Kao has developed a novel technique for measurement of the area of visceral fat that can be performed anywhere. That was used to determine the amount of visceral fat in more than 10,000 men and women, and their lifestyle and intake of nutrients were also examined. Those results showed that improvement in diet quality, determined based on a balance of three pairs of nutrients, is important to prevent accumulation of visceral fat. From these findings, SMART WASHOKU, based on a traditional Japanese-style dietary regimen, was developed (Fig. 1). Furthermore, in 21 adult overweight participants, post-prandial secretion of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), a fat accumulation-accelerating hormone, was shown to be reduced after eating a SMART WASHOKU meal as compared to a modern-style meal, while the area of visceral fat was also significantly reduced when SMART WASHOKU meals were eaten 3 times a day for 2 weeks (Fig. 2).
On the basis of these findings, a new program for providing SMART WASHOKU meals and dietary guidance was developed, in combination with visceral fat measurement. This program has been implemented for health promotion of employees of the Kao group, and also been provided to other companies and local communities in Japan. We are making contributions to the realization of a healthy lifestyle through research of an evidence-based dietary regimen and functional food components such as plant polyphenols.
Kao’s ESG Strategy Kirei Lifestyle Plan
Sustainable Development Goals