Japanese government battling the bulge

Recently, on a weight loss support web forum, there has been a lot of outrage about a Japanese government program that has started and is fining businesses for encouraging unhealthy lifestyle habits.  The following video started the controversy.

Being Fat Now Illegal in Japan

The fact they are basing it strictly on waistlines is horrible, there are many other factors in determining if someone is “overweight”.  However I see this as a positive direction for a company heading the way of North America due to the influx cheap, fatty and easily accessible food with little nutritional value.

Typical Japanese take out meal – low fat, high in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber – 600 calories.  Typical Amerian take out meal – high fat, moderate protein, high in starches sodium and sugars, low in complex carbs and fiber 1300 calories.

However the government promoting healthy eating and exercise and penalizing businesses for encouraging unhealthy practices (serving unhealthy calorie and fat laden food and promoting long hours of sedentary desk work) is heartening to see.  It is also very enlightening to see Japanese corporations mandating excercise and activity programs – this is good practice for team-building and also avoiding occupational health and safety issues.

It’s not illegal to be fat in Japan  the title of the video is highly misleading – this is a country where sumo wrestling is considered a sport and a national treasure – the government is just wanting business and industry to see that a healthier population means fewer dollars being spent on health care and charging companies that support an unhealthy lifestyle accordingly.  Something MANY businesses in North America should learn from IMO.


1 thought on “Japanese government battling the bulge

  1. Very much agreed, Myke. I would love to see more regulation (legislation & enforcement) to keep unhealthy foods out and to mandate exercise programs and facilities. Though you didn’t mention it, and perhaps it wasn’t specified in the Japanese sources, I would like to add that we should be especially concerned about vulnerable and largely captive populations in schools (we have a horrible track record there and are indeed allowing the influx of ever more corporations such as, inter alia, Coke & Pepsi), seniors’ homes, recreation centres and hospitals (I don’t know much about the food in seniors’ hoes, but rec centres seem to always have junk food vending machines and hospitals, ironically, have terrible & unhealthy food options, esp. for staff).

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