Filipa Silva and Simon Brown created a macrobiotic survey of 588 people following a macrobiotic lifestyle and 172 people who had described themselves as trying a macrobiotic lifestyle in the past but stopped. The results have been published in a report and presented at an online International Macrobiotic Conference. The results of this macrobiotic survey are published here.
91% of macrobiotic practitioners claimed to have good or very good health when responding to the macrobiotic survey.
Macrobiotics and Health
Especially when compared to the general population where that number is around 70%
Although it might be expected that people following a healthy lifestyle, would feel healthier, it is interesting to notice that people actually felt healthier the older they were. This is against the normal trend. This might be due to people finding the longer they followed a macrobiotic lifestyle, the more healthy they felt. This suggests that a macrobiotic lifestyle help slow the ageing process.
Macrobiotics and Weight
Only 24% of macrobiotic practitioners felt they were overweight, compared to about 50% in the general population. Whole grains and sea vegetables were eaten more among those who were happy with their weight, whilst dairy foods, alcohol and nightshades and salads eaten more by those over or underweight.
Macrobiotics and Sleep
Only 12% of respondents claimed to experience poor sleep. Attitude to life, meditation and positive emotions were associated with people enjoying good sleep, whilst negative emotions with those experiencing poor sleep.
Macrobiotic Practitioners Claim High Energy Levels
Most significant was that 87% or respondents enjoy normal to high energy levels.You can see the items that were also high with those with high energy level in the list below. These marked (+) and those who claimed to be more pessimistic, also associated more strongly with those items marked (-).
Macrobiotics and Digestion
Generally, digestion keeps improving the longer someone maintains a macrobiotic lifestyle. A low percentage experienced gas and bloating and these were more than other digestive issues. Interestingly, good digestion is also associated with meditation and positive emotions, whilst people who had more digestive issues also consumed more dairy and commercially processed foods as well as experiencing more negative emotions.
Macrobiotics and Optimism
The macrobiotic group rated themselves as mostly optimistic. This is important as research suggests that optimistic people tend to live longer (15%) and are less likely to go to hospital (50-70%). Meditation, deep breathing, qi gong and yoga were practiced more often by those claiming to be more optimistic. Diary food, commercially processed food and a lack of exercise were more common among people who responded as being more pessimistic.
Macrobiotics and Emotional Wellbeing
Generally people following a macrobiotic lifestyle claimed to be happy, loving, peaceful and content when responding to the macrobiotic survey. The full report, scroll down the page to download, shows the various associations between healthy emotions and health, sleep, energy levels and meditation.
We asked people to fill out in detail what they ate to get a clear understanding of what people who identify as following a macrobiotic lifestyle actually eat. The was a lot of consistency and adherence to the daily consumption of vegetables, whole grains and beans. The was more divergence with foods like coffee, juices, eggs, alcohol, cakes and dairy. This suggests that most people follow a core natural foods diet, whilst some people also enjoy a wider range of foods, making a macrobiotics a flexible approach to healthy eating.
Macrobiotics and Meditation or Mindfulness.
The macrobiotic survey responses show that people identifying as macrobiotic enjoy meditation or mindfulness, deep breathing, massage and fasting as part of their healthy lifestyle.
The macrobiotic community appears to be a helpful and supportive group where most people get help from friends. Books, social media and websites as well as online courses are also popular sources for help.
Macrobiotic Survey Reports
Please feel free to download the Macrobiotic Survey. There are two versions. One is the full survey written out as a report. The second is a more visual version that contains the information primarily presented in chart form. This version is better for classes and presentations. Please include this webpage as the source if you want to use this survey with clients, in classes or online.
Many thanks to all the macrobiotic teachers and schools that helped distribute the macrobiotic survey to people in the macrobiotic community. These include: