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Japan Goes Bananas For a New Diet (Health)

posted by bibleprobe1(R), 10.19.2008

Japan Goes Bananas For a New Diet
By Michiko Toyama Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

Keiko Akai is very annoyed. The attractive 21-year-old university student has been planning to do a banana diet for some time now, but she can't get started and not for lack of trying. "I keep going to OK Store, my local supermarket every single day," she says. "In fact, I've just been there. There are no bananas on the shelves, and it's been like that for a month."

Akai has never weighed more than 100 pounds, and is so slim that her waist is swimming in Zara's smallest size XS skirt. She doesn't need to lose any weight. But Japanese girls obsessed with diets tend to jump at any trendy new ones, so, when Akai heard about a popular actress who'd lost 26 pounds through the Morning Banana Diet, she had to try it. And the dearth of bananas as her local supermarket, and many others, is testimony to the popularity of the new dieting fad.

"Large stores don't have any bananas from noon, and even Ito Yokado (a major supermarket chain) runs out of them after 3 p.m.," says Tomoyuki Horiuchi, sales representative of Tokyo Seika Boeki Co., Ltd., fruit and vegetables wholesale company. Hiromi Ohtaki of Dole Japan, a leading banana importer, sees the boom in sales as largely due to Morning Banana Diet bananas don't normally sell well during summer, and this year's summer has been especially hot. Still, over the past 4 months, demand has driven Dole Japan to increase its banana imports by upward of 25%, and even then supplies could not keep pace with demand. "In a way this is an emergency," explains Ohtaki. "We've been importing bananas from the Philippines for the past 40 years, but this is the first time something like this happened to us, and we find it very difficult to cope."

Finish reading this at: TIME

 


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