Illegal to be fat: Japanese edition

Some of you may have seen the news that it is now illegal to be fat in Japan. This means having a waistline over 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) for men and 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) for women over 40 years of age.

I’m not sure what the penalties are. I know there are employment penalties, like weight ‘counseling.’ 

What’s most alarming about the article is that it’s screamingly clear this is a case of outright scapegoating. Official admit that fat people are being targeted because the population is aging, and aging-related diseases that have been mischaracterized as caused by fat, like diabetes and heart disease, are going up. So fat people are being targeted, even though this is clearly a statistical issue tied to a changing demographic, and not anything the Japanese public is doing differently or ‘wrong.’ 

My heart goes out to all fat Japanese. I hope your government sees the error of its ways, though it’s incredibly unlikely. 

2 comments on “Illegal to be fat: Japanese edition

  1. wendyrg says:

    I know an American woman who lived in Japan for about 25 years. As a fat woman, and even after losing a great deal of weight (her choice, no judgment here one way or the other), she found the Japanese to be extremely anti-fat. There were many things she liked about Japan, but she certainly hated be pointed at and tittered at in the street for the “crime” of being fat.

  2. wendyrg says:

    Sorry, that’s “being pointed at…”

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