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Background of the Cities

Human behavior is directly related to their culture and the geographic segment they are living in. The development of behavior is controlled by its surrounding factors. Eating behavior or food habit is also considered as a human behavior. This is not just a biological process, but also a social one. As Described by (Dirks and Hunter  2012) in his study, it various over race, age, sex and the physical activities individual perform. The factors that have direct influence over the eating behavior of the people can be economical, political, cultural, lifestyle, and many others. Moreover, the eating behavior varies over urban and rural societies. Eating behavior of people living in the cities considerably varies from the ones who are living in the rural segment of the society. This is due to its complex nature and interplay of physiological, psychological, social and genetic factors.

The following report will be identifying the characteristics of two major cities in the world that are New York and Tokyo. It then identifies the food habits or eating behavior of the people in both of the cities individually. The last section of the report relates the characteristics of cities with the eating behavior of its citizens to identify how the former has influence over the later.

Characteristics of New York

The city is considered as a multiethnic hub the shelters a wide range of religious population.  It is commercially driven and famously congested. It is believed to be the best attractive urban centre in the country. The city also represents a diversified economy that no other city in the country does in this extent. Wall Street of New York represents the finance, whereas, the Broadway is popular for as the theatre hub. Fifth Avenue is known for shopping; advertising economy is located in Madison Avenue. Similarly, every part of the city represents and known for various economic specializations, where the industry grew.

New York is also referred as an international city as it is comprised of diversified ethnic origin. Most of the population residing in New York comes from different origin of the world out of which, Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Russia, Italy, Poland and India dominates over the number of others. These people have congregated in locations, where they can freely talk, shop and eat with their countrymen residing in NYC. It is to hold on to the ethnic originality. This is clearly visible in their behavior and social life.

The New York government is a democratic one that facilitated in successful survival of multiethnic groups in the city. However, they have regulation over every aspect of the city life of the individuals residing within stating policies. The city has its own food policy defending the   interest of the people from different ethnic groups. It also communicates the programs , resources and policies to help city’s goals that address food insecurity, improve healthy food access and awareness and support economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.

Characteristics of Tokyo

The city has developed a unique culture out of different cultures of the neighboring countries. The unique culture of Tokyo is developed upon the base of ethnic Jomon culture of Japan with influences of Indian, Greek, Korean and Chinese culture. These cultural components are reflected in their everyday city life. Religious aspect of Tokyo does not have a strong influence in their lives as they are celebrated on the special occasions that are Shintoism and Buddehism.

Characteristics of New York

Moreover, Japanese government has refocused their growth from military to the economic aspect after the end of World War II that changed the overall scenario of the country. The exact economic boom occurred in the country around 1980s. The reflection of this is primarily visible in the Tokyo city that is the heart of Japan. The city is considered as the industrial centre of the country. It is concentrated with the light industry whereas, the other cities of the country are known for the heavy industries. Most of the workforce of Tokyo is engaged extensively in economic activity. Normal overtime that an individual is doing in Tokyo is about 80 hours a month. This is considered as the minimum slab that has been reflected in the Targum and Junko (2012) article. It goes way beyond the limit stated in cases. This has direct impact on the overall behavior of the citizens of Tokyo.

Moreover, Tokyo is a technologically advanced city. They have built highly advanced communication system with well advanced railroads and ground transport system. In short, the city is comprised of hyperactive population, busy in their professional life.

A study conducted by Yoshizaki et al (2016) on the female nurses in Tokyo reflects that the there is a significant gap between the eating behavior of the people. The groups are classified under rotating shift workers and fixed workers. The results shows that the eating behavior that is associated with the rotating shift workers are more unbalanced and temporal than that of the workers with fixed duty schedule. Dean and Joseph (2011) on the other hand conducted a study on the adolescents eating behavior pattern. They identified the eating pattern among the individuals on the basis of eating speed and quantity. The report concludes that there is a number of eating behavior that can possibly be identified within the same population. There are children with high eating speed with low consumption, high eating speed with high consumption, low eating speed with high consumption and so on. The result reflects that the people with high eating speed and high consumption are likely to get odd ration compared to the children eating their complete meal in slow speed.

Moreover, it is evidenced that the citizens of Tokyo has developed a drinking habit. This is seen mostly in the private sectors employees. Moreover, the percentage of heavy drinking is considerably high among within the heavy drinkers who come from the shifting job or night shift (Morikawa et al 2012).

 Diversified eating pattern is evidenced in case of the residents in New York. It not only varies over different age groups, but also significantly various over the locations. Davis et al (2013) conducted a research on ht diabetic patients of South Bronx. They successfully identified five different dietary patterns among the residents of South Bronx. These people reflect high consumption of pizza and sweets, meats, fried foods, fruits and vegetables and Caribbean starch.

Wolfe and Campbell (2011) on the other hand conducted a survey study on the school students of New York States. The identified eating behavior among the students reflects a nutrition intervention as they have already developed a disorganized dietary pattern. It reflects that nearly 40% of the students avoided eating vegetables, other than potato and tomato sauce and 20% rejected fruit. Moreover, the report also highlights that 36 per cent of the students prefer to have different kinds of snacks over the other types of food available to them.

Characteristics of Tokyo

The department of Agriculture and Health and Human Service of America has been dictating Dietary guideline for Americans since 1980s. This is a five year plan and the dictated guideline for the dietary pattern of American citizens is to be followed over a five year period. The department then revises the guideline according to the requirements. This guideline is also applicable for the citizens of New York City. The recent guideline dictated by the department urged to drastically cut back on sugar products to control over the eating behavior of the citizens.

Developed eating behavior of the citizens can be directly related to the city life. As mentioned in the introduction, eating behavior is associated with multiple social, cultural, political and other factors. Change in any of the factors can considerably modify the eating behavior of the individual. However, individual are associated with a particular type of lifestyle. For example, life of a student is different than the life of an individual working in an industry. Moreover, the shift time workers and fixed time workers live different lives. Political effect on the other hand has a different type of impact on the eating behavior of the citizens.  Each of the identified eating behavior is further related with the characteristics of the city selected in the following section.

According to Choi and Tsutomu (2013) the eating behavior of the people residing in Tokyo is associated with the type of job they are doing. There is a significant difference between the eating behavior of the fixed scheduled employee with the shift jobs and night jobs. They have observed that the employees in rotating shifts don’t have a balanced diet. This is due to the lack of time provided to the employees for doing their necessary activities. Moreover, this situation also changes the type of food being consumed by the people. They are leaning towards the fast food rejecting the traditional food for saving time. This is now observed in the family level. Dean and Joseph (2011) on the other hand identified the pattern how they eat their food. It is evidenced that both children and the adults eat their food in a rush. Moreover, it is found that only a few portion of the population eats until their stomach is filled. The author related the fast eating behavior with the shortage of time. The work pressure in Tokyo have modified the eating behavior accordingly as they want to use minimal time required for eating. Kimura et al (2011) further related the fact with the obesity or over weight. The report reflects that the fast eaters who eat until they are filled are likely to become over weight than the fast eaters with low consumption. This can be connected with the economic arrangement of Tokyo and also the cultural one. As mentioned in the above section, the city has developed a unique culture of its own from the combination of other Asian cultures. Hence, the food habits introduced by these foreign cultures has been integrated in city’s population and now used as a way to reduce the time in preparation and consumption.

Eating behavior of the citizen of Tokyo

The population residing in Tokyo has developed a high level alcohol consumption that has been recently highlighted over the past decade in the international new. This is because the suicide cases that consecutively took place in Tokyo by the employees for escaping the workload imposed on them. The work pressure built made the employees to do overtime. The citizens of Tokyo took up the drinking habit as a way to release the steam. Moreover, Morikawa et al (2014) argued that the people working in the night shift are more associated with this to solve the sleeping issue they face.

New York citizens on the other hand reflect both similar and different behavior in case of eating. As the New York population reflects a considerable number of diabetic patients, they have assigned a department to control the eating behavior and consumption of food items. The department of Agriculture and Health and Human Service of America is responsible for regulating the dietary practices of the population. They have recently urged to drastically cut back on sugar products to control over the eating behavior of the citizens (Nyc.Gov 2017). Auestad and Victor (2012) on the other hand identified the cultural diversities controlling the eating behavior of the people. The multiethnic population likes to spend more time with their own ethnic group that led them to develop segments specialized with particular ethnic community within New York. Hence, it is possible to identify the pattern in restaurants’ location that in turn controls the eating behavior of the population. It provides the citizens opportunity to explore a wide variety of cousins coming from different ethnic group residing in the New York City. It as well segregates the eating pattern of different ethnic group. As identified by Davis et al (2013) the South Bronx location is comprised of Latin and Spanish population, where the people consumes more pizza, sea food, meat and fruits compared to others.

However, the overall population tends to consume the street foods or better known as fast foods in their daily lives as it is easy to prepare and less time consuming. This in turn helps them to coordinate with their economic activities.

This fast food consumption is also noticed among the children. This is due to the busy schedule of the parents of the children. They prepare easy to make and less time consuming foods for breakfast. Many of the children in New York City take snacks as breakfast in their homes, which build the eating behavior accordingly (Lobel 2014).   

Conclusion

The eating behavior developed by the citizens of New York is different compared to the ones developed by the citizens of Tokyo. However, there are large similarities related to the topic among the two cities under study. The similarities are due to the fast lives the people lives in it as both of them are megacities. The pressure faced by the people in their work place leads both the citizens in New York and Tokyo to adopt similar eating behavior and food items. However, there are some variations that can notice due to the cultural variation. However, both the cities are comprised of multiethnic population that also has molded the habit of the citizens. The final conclusion can be drawn that the food habit in both the cities are related to the economic activities the population performs. It regulates the eating behavior significantly and also modifiesthe dietary pattern of the citizens.

References

Auestad, Nancy, and Victor L. Fulgoni. "What current literature tells us about sustainable diets: emerging research linking dietary patterns, environmental sustainability, and economics." Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 6, no. 1 (2015): 19-36.

Choi, Yuran, and Tsutomu Suzuki. "Food deserts, activity patterns, & social exclusion: The case of Tokyo, Japan." Applied geography 43 (2013): 87-98.

Davis, Nichola J., Clyde B. Schechter, Felix Ortega, Rosa Rosen, Judith Wylie-Rosett, and Elizabeth A. Walker. "Dietary patterns in blacks and Hispanics with diagnosed diabetes in New York City's South Bronx." The American journal of clinical nutrition 97, no. 4 (2013): 878-885.

Dean, Wesley R., and Joseph R. Sharkey. "Rural and urban differences in the associations between characteristics of the community food environment and fruit and vegetable intake." Journal of nutrition education and behavior 43, no. 6 (2011): 426-433.

Dirks, Robert, and Gina Hunter. "The anthropology of food." (2012).

Kimura, Yasumi, Akiko Nanri, Yumi Matsushita, Satoshi Sasaki, and Tetsuya Mizoue. "Eating behavior in relation to prevalence of overweight among Japanese men." Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 20, no. 1 (2011): 29-34.

Lobel, Cindy R. Urban appetites: Food and culture in nineteenth-century New York. University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Morikawa, Yuko, Koshi Nakamura, Masaru Sakurai, Shin-Ya Nagasawa, Masao Ishizaki, Motoko Nakashima, Teruhiko Kido, Yuchi Naruse, and Hideaki Nakagawa. "The effect of age on the relationships between work-related factors and heavy drinking." Journal of occupational health 56, no. 2 (2014): 141-149.

Morikawa, Yuko, Masaru Sakurai, Koshi Nakamura, Shin-Ya Nagasawa, Masao Ishizaki, Teruhiko Kido, Yuchi Naruse, and Hideaki Nakagawa. "Correlation between shift-work-related sleep problems and heavy drinking in Japanese male factory workers." Alcohol and alcoholism 48, no. 2 (2012): 202-206.

Steel, Carolyn. Hungry city: How food shapes our lives. Random House, 2013.

Targum, Steven D., and Junko Kitanaka. "Overwork suicide in Japan: a national crisis." Innovations in clinical neuroscience9, no. 2 (2012): 35.

Wolfe, Wendy S., and Cathy C. Campbell. "Food pattern, diet quality, and related characteristics of schoolchildren in New York State." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 93, no. 11 (2011): 1280-1284.

Www1.Nyc.Gov 2017. . "NYC Food Policy".  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/foodpolicy/index.page.

Yoshizaki, Takahiro, Yukari Kawano, Osamu Noguchi, Junko Onishi, Reiko Teramoto, Ayaka Sunami, Yuri Yokoyama, Yuki Tada, Azumi Hida, and Fumiharu Togo. "Association of eating behaviours with diurnal preference and rotating shift work in Japanese female nurses: a cross-sectional study." BMJ open6, no. 11 (2016): e011987.

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