In a country where food culture permeates all aspects of life and society, it is perhaps unsurprising that Japan leads the "World Health Olympics," in the words of Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle. In their book, "Secrets of the World's Healthiest Children," the pair proselytize for the traditional diet of Japanese families, revealing how Japan manages to stay so healthy, and how you can, too, with tidbits of parenting advice thrown in.

The book opens with Japan's podium finish: the results of a comprehensive 2012 study backed by the Gates Foundation and published in the medical journal The Lancet, which showed that of the world's nations, children born in Japan can expect to have the healthiest lives and live the longest. The U.S. was ranked 32.

Moriyama, speaking to The Japan Times from Finland where her husband is a Fulbright scholar, explained that they wrote the book firstly for themselves. Like many exasperated first-time parents, when their son was born they turned to books and experts to glean advice on everything from sleeping to discipline. However, when it came to food, Moriyama really felt like she needed extra guidance, which is why she turned her attention toward home.