Home > Crime, Employment rights, health > Big in Japan? Not likely – it is illegal.

Big in Japan? Not likely – it is illegal.

Thanks to an anti-obesity law passed by the Japanese government, Japanese men and women are having to tuck their belts in or they and their employers will face consequences. The Japanese government wants to say goodbye to metabo.

Men are deemed fat if their  waist is over 33.5 inches, women are allowed an extra inch of belly. They will be deemed fat if their waist is 35.4 inches. If you have eaten too much sushi (or probably too many Western style Burgers) you will have to attend a compulsory counselling session with a physician.

For every overweight employee found by the fat busting Japanese government, employers will be hit with a belt breaking fine, so Japanese employers give their staff free membership of gyms and even pedometers to walk off all that extra fat.

The theory is that obesity is costing Western society $billions. As Western waist sizes grow Japan does not want to follow a certain well-known Country down that path.

Japan has one of the world’s lowest rates of obesity — fewer than 5 percent of Japanese adults are obese compared to 35 percent of Americans. In England 46 percent of men and 32 percent of women are overweight. An additional 17 percent of men and 21 percent of women are obese.

While obesity is low, waist sizes are increasing. Longer life spans and low birth rates are aging the Japanese population. Japan is ageing faster than any other industrialised Country. THese factors combined are putting pressure on the Japanese health care system because of increases in the levels of diabetes. In 1997 6.9 million Japanese residents had diabetes in 2008 that number had increased to 8.9 million. As a result health care costs are likely to double in Japan by 2020.

Metabo is certainly controversial from a Western liberal view-point. It appears to be humiliating and far too absolute. To be fair, waist size is not the only test, the exams factor in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, weight and smoking, but like speeding laws the waist size test is an absolute. Go over you are breaking the law.

For all those crying out for “government to do something” about obesity, at its extreme this is what “doing something” means. There are less “absolute” solutions such as controls on the use of hydrogenated fats and reverting to cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, but coupled with those measures surely it is easier for people worried about their weight to do something about it themselves?

  1. alhjgyikk
    April 19, 2011 at 7:14 am

    You are allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it seated at a table with 5 naked fat people

  2. Anonymous
    July 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    So, you’re supposed to morph yourself into a pin-stripe goose and fly around the world after a meal. Non-stop. It’s literally easier to change race than it is to lose the weight and keep it off. If it was so easy to lose the weight there would be no fat people, given vanity alone. I wish I had a car as fuel efficient as my body. It’ll get 100 miles a gallon… doing 200 miles an hour.

    NOTE: Pin stripe geese are known usually as stripe neck geese, and capable of overflying Mount Everest. (30,000 feet)

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