In an effort to reduce the population of overweight people in Japan, the Japanese governement has set limits for male and female waistlines at 33.5 inches and 35.4 inches respectively (for people between 40 and 74 years of age).
How does one enforce such a measure?
The national law mandates companies and local goverments to measure the waistlines of the Japanese people. For those who exceed the set limits and are suffering from weight related ailments, they will be given dietary guidelines after three months of failing to lose weight. Longer term failure to lose weight will involve more education, although details are still being worked out.
What is the rationale behind the law?
The Japanese guidelines for waistlines are set similar to the numbers used by the Interntional Diabetes Federation. The International Diabetes Federation uses these numbers as an indicator if someone has an increased health risk. The Japanese use the word “metabo” as a catch phrase for the risks around being overweight. The word refers to metabolic syndrome, which is the group of factors that increase risk of diabetes, vascular disease, and other health ailments.