Prepare for some more belt-tightening

“This week a health ministry study panel called for tightening the metabolic gauge for women to 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) in waist size from the current 90 cm (34.5 inches). Tightening the criteria would lead to preventing more strokes and heart diseases, said the panel led by University of Tokyo professor Takashi Kadowaki.
In 2005, the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity currently sets the benchmark waist size at 85 cm or more for men, and 90 cm or more for women to diagnose obesity. Japan’s health ministry has been using the criteria in metabolic syndrome check-ups. Some experts have since opposed setting a slacker waistline gauge for women.
Measuring the waist gives a rough measure of abdominal fat that causes lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.”

In other words, in Japan, if you are female and have a waist size larger than 31.5 inches, then you are regarded as obese.  Uh-oh.  I’m in trouble.


3 comments on “Prepare for some more belt-tightening

  1. Petra says:

    I wish they would introduce something like that in the US.

    Seriously – just the other day I saw a group of kids (maybe 10 -12 years old) and each and every one of them was fat… not puppy fat, but really, really overweight. And each and every one was gobbling chips and slurping sodas.

    That is heart-wrenching and so, so, so wrong. 😦

  2. Karen says:

    Setting a benchmark wouldn’t change a thing about the way people eat here (including me). We’ve become convenience junkies.

  3. Miko says:

    I think it will work in Japan, but not really because of governmental diktats so much as peer pressure. Japanese people are very swift to comment on any weight gain, it’s not regarded as rude or intrusive. Most people who diet do so not for their own health but because they want to be socially acceptable. It’s kind of creepy the way that people keep tabs on each other here, but I accept that it can be a good thing for society on the whole.

    Petra, out of my 50 cram school students, only three are overweight (chubby rather than obese). Soda drinks are very popular in Japan, but we only give them to the kids on special occasions. Other times they drink green tea or barley tea. Corn syrup is the devil’s food!

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