2018 Volume 64 Issue 2 Pages 129-137
Context: International interest in the Japanese diet has grown in recent years. Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate and organize the Japanese diet and dietary characteristics from an epidemiological perspective, mainly focusing on the nutritional and dietary elements. Data Sources: PubMed, Web of Science, Japan Medical Abstracts Society, JDream III, and CiNii databases were searched. Study Selection: The eligibility criteria included research with an epidemiological study design that was either cross-sectional, cohort, or case-control-based that defined the dietary patterns of the Japanese diet using dietary pattern analysis. A total of 39 research articles that described the Japanese diet were included. Data Extraction: The data that were extracted included the following: implementing country, location, study design, participant characteristics, key outcomes, methods used in the analysis of dietary patterns, and descriptions of the Japanese diet. Data Synthesis: As a result of the systematic review analyzing the descriptions of the Japanese diet from 39 selected articles, we were able to aggregate the descriptions into 16 categories from 33 factors. After performing a content analysis using a further aggregation of categories, we found that the top three applicable categories were soybeans/soybean-derived products, seafood, and vegetables; these were followed by rice and miso soup. Conclusion: The Japanese dietary content was found to be diverse based on an examination of epidemiological studies; however, we were able to aggregate the content into 16 categories. The Japanese diet is considered to be a dietary pattern that contains a combination of factors: the dietary staple, side dishes, and soup.