There are certain topics that although you may be interested in, one just doesn’t bring up in polite company, the least of which being the regularity of a country’s bowel movements. But luckily our poop-curious friends over at Glico (as in the major Japanese snack company) recently completed a survey about constipation that gives us a very personal look at the health of Japan’s number two habits. The aptly named “Lifestyle and Constipation” survey has revealed which Japanese prefectures are keeping things downstairs regular and which ones are all clogged up.
The Internet survey asked almost 5,000 men and women all over Japan about how often they pooped, their diet and also to describe the shape, smell and color of their poop. The first question of the survey was a simple “Are you constipated?” and the prefectures with the most people answering yes or maybe were:
1. Toyama, Kyoto (40%)
3. Tokushima (39%)
4. Ishikawa (37%)
5. Fukui, Kumamoto (36%)
On the other hand, the following prefectures had the least amount of stopped up citizens:
1. Saitama (21%)
2. Fukushima, Gifu (23%)
4. Shizuoka (24%)
5. Aichi, Nara (25%)
And when comparing the results of the men and women who took the survey, there was a huge gender discrepancy with about 40 percent of women saying they were currently constipated and only about 20 percent of men reporting the same. The survey also asked if you pooped at least once in three days, with Toyama, Osaka, Okayama and Okinawa having the most people who didn’t have a proper bathroom visit in more than three days. And there was at least one person who answered that they usually only pooped once a month.
The survey also asked respondents to share the details about the shape, color and smell of their poop. With a healthy shape being described as a “clay-like banana,” people in Nara can be proud to hold the title of the most healthy-shaped poop. And the people of Kanagawa had the most people who answered that their poop was usually in the form of diarrhea. Chiba and Oita prefectures had the most people with the healthiest colored-poop, that being dark or light brown. And there seemed to be something special about Hokkaido and Nagasaki that keeps their visits to the toilet smell-free since they said their poop had practically no odor.
For those suffering from constipation (and worried about the effects on their skin), exercising regularly, paying close attention to your diet and lowering stress (or a really good video game) is usually what is recommended to get things moving again. And of course, Glico suggests that including yogurt in your diet (which they very conveniently sell at most supermarkets in Japan) can be a good move towards a more healthy digestive system and succesful trips to the toilet.