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  1. #1
    heart on fire
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    Default Against the Law to be Fat in Japan?

    What do the folks here think of this?

    A good idea or bad idea?


    Japan, seeking trimmer citizens, decides to measure millions of waistlines

    ...But because the new state-prescribed limit for male waistlines is a strict 33.5 inches, he had anxiously measured himself at home a couple of days earlier. "I'm on the border," he said.

    Under a national law that came into effect two months ago, companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of their annual checkups. That represents more than 56 million waistlines, or about 44 percent of the entire population.

    Those exceeding government limits — 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women, which are identical to thresholds established in 2005 for Japan by the International Diabetes Federation as an easy guideline for identifying health risks — and having a weight-related ailment will be given dieting guidance if after three months they do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months.


    To reach its goals of shrinking the overweight population by 10 percent over the next four years and 25 percent over the next seven years, the government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet specific targets. The country's Ministry of Health argues that the campaign will keep the spread of diseases like diabetes and strokes in check
    ...

  2. #2
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Sounds like a variant form of Anti-Dysgenics.

    After reading the article a bit further, it appears proponents argue that the initiative will ultimately reduce the soon-ballooning health care costs for senior citizens.

    Opponents argue the expectations are unrealistic and would actually counter the financial premise set forth by the program.


    As an ideal, I think the program is ultimately an exercise in futility. It seems unlikely to me that forcefully installing a weight loss regime would produce any long-term health benefits.

    What disappoints me is the lack of creativity associated with this line of policy grafting. Instead of social handcuffs (which will likely only serve to reinforce certain psychological anomalies that led to overconsumption in some), it seems more operant to attack the root cause of overeating.

    Thus, it might be wiser to evaluate the catalysts. A good start would be to analyze the genetic links between overeating and hormone production in certain demographics; insert social programs to alleviate the psychological temptation of overconsumption; summarily reduce dependency on Western fast food agencies (thereby reducing physical consumption while increasing domestic production of "healthy" alternatives) by offering education programs for those who might otherwise choose to eat fatty, low-output foods.

    Obesity isn't a necessarily consequence of overeating. As such, implementing a counterstructure that only targets overeating is probably going to do very little to curb national trends in Japan.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I've stated my opinion on the issue in other threads and I'm not surprised, at all. Big Brother.

    The ministry also says that curbing widening waistlines will rein in a rapidly aging society's ballooning health care costs, one of the most serious and politically delicate problems facing Japan today.

  4. #4
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    I just don't understand this current wave of wanting-everybody-to-be-healthy that's circling the globe. What is the goal here? To have as many people as healthy as possible all around the world? Who is that going to help? All these enviromental problems we blame ourselves for are as a result of there being too many people on the planet.

    We're constantly told from one quarter that we as humans need to minimise our effect on the planet, and from another quarter that we need to be as healthy as possible. These two ideas completely oppose each other. Surely the best way to minimise human effect is to MIMINISE THE HUMANS!

    If governments enforce people to gain an extra ten years on their lives, that's just more resources they're going to take and a larger trail of shit left in their wake.

    I saw a commercial a while back that said something like, "By the year 2020 there will be an estimated eleven billion people on the planet, we here at (random corporation, I forget now) will be here to serve those new customers, etc." I just remember thinking, "What? We're just going to sit back and let that happen? We're alright with that? We know it's going to happen and we're doing nothing to stop it?"

    This is why I don't recycle, this is why I don't care about the planet, because I figure all the great strides we make are going to be watered down when shared amongst a larger group of people. And there's already too many people on the planet, you can't walk down the street without seeing another human. Where the fuck are we going to store all these new people? Underground?

    Rant over.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I've stated my opinion on the issue in other threads and I'm not surprised, at all. Big Brother.
    That is what it sounds like to me too. :steam: This Big Brother stuff is getting out of control.
    Happy colored marbles that are rolling in my head..." - Ween

  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is the case in Japan, but I've read about such things as "food deserts," where people don't have access to grocery stores to buy fresh fruits and veggies, the staples of a healthy diet. These areas also have higher incidences of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Maybe they could look and see if the areas where people tend to be obese are also areas where food options are limited. If they find that to be the case then maybe the best step is to give these areas more access to healthier food choices and see if that produces a change in waistlines.

    I don't know, I mean there's a problem at least they recognize it and are being proactive about it. What is the Japanese reaction to this? Does Big Brother scare them as much as it does Americans?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    What is the Japanese reaction to this? Does Big Brother scare them as much as it does Americans?
    I could see this leading to discriminatory hiring practices.

    To reach its goals of shrinking the overweight population by 10 percent over the next four years and 25 percent over the next seven years, the government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet specific targets.
    If a company employs more than its share of overweight people, it might have to start trimming the fat, literally, in order to avoid financial penalties. But that's only your job.

    Will local governments start forcing overweight people to go to 'Fat Camp'? What if that doesn't work? Prison?

  8. #8
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I don't know, I mean there's a problem at least they recognize it and are being proactive about it. ..
    Are they crossing a personal boundary here? Do people have the right to be fat or unhealthy if they chose to be so?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Are they crossing a personal boundary here? Do people have the right to be fat or unhealthy if they chose to be so?
    Abso-F***ing-lutley! and I wouldn't trust anyone that says otherwise.
    Happy colored marbles that are rolling in my head..." - Ween

  10. #10
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I can see something like this happening in Japan and perhaps 'working' as far as getting a positive response -- meaning enough people actually go along with it to have some of the health benefits it wanted.

    I doubt per capita Japan has the same problems with obesity that the states has though I think it does have the same/bigger problem with an aging population and not even younger people to fill the wage earning gap.

    Japan and many east asian countries are more 'communal minded' societies where individuals are able to sublimate their individuality for the greater good.

    So it's a different sense of 'personal boundaries' versus community responsibility/citizenship, etc.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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