The world’s largest sugar-fueled food manufacturing plant is coming under pressure to slash costs as consumers are increasingly seeking healthier options, a study shows.
At the same time, more consumers are seeking alternatives, including plant-based foods, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Consumers Union.
A total of 6.7 billion metric tons of sugar are produced in Japan, according a study released by the nonprofit.
It found that the country produces more sugar than China, India and the U.S. combined.
In the past decade, Japan’s manufacturing industry has shifted from a focus on corn and sugar to making animal products and processed food.
But the growing number of plant-food options has prompted concern over the long-term health effects of sugar consumption.
Consumers Union found that in 2015, Japan was responsible for more than half of the country’s total sugar consumption, with the majority coming from corn.
The report, “Sugar, Meat and Meats: The New Japanese Sugar-Fueled Food Industry,” found that sugar consumption has soared in Japan over the past few decades.
In 2015, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages reached a record high of 5.4 million metric tons, with more than 50 percent of those beverages coming from processed foods.
The consumption of sugary beverages increased from just 1.5 million metric ton in 2015 to 3.7 million metric Ton in 2020, according the study.
A 2016 survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare found that nearly 1.7 trillion yen ($1.7.8 billion) in food and beverage products were sold in Japan last year.
The study found that while sugar consumption is rising, Japan has been a “sugar-fueling” country.
The majority of the sugar consumed in Japan comes from corn, soybean and sugar cane, the study found.
A significant number of Japanese eat processed food, and the industry has become more involved in providing food with a low-calorie content.
In an interview with the Japan Times in May, Sugimura Tomiichi, the countrys vice president of the National Diet, said sugar consumption in Japan was on the rise.
But Sugimura said the problem is more than just rising sugar consumption and that it is also related to obesity.
“The real issue is the growing obesity in Japan,” Sugimura told the newspaper.
“It’s a problem in terms of obesity.
It’s a public health issue and it is not just about sugar consumption.”
Sugimura also pointed to Japan’s rising carbon footprint.
“Japan has the highest carbon footprint of any country in the world, and it’s growing more slowly than any other country in Asia and Europe,” he said.
“The fact that we are the largest producer of corn in the developed world, that’s a huge carbon footprint.”
Tomiichi also pointed out that there are many factors that contribute to the country s sugar consumption: its aging population, the low birthrate and the fact that Japan has become the worlds largest consumer of imported food.