31 August 2008

Get thin - or else!

This isn't brand-new-hot-off-the-presses new but it sure is new to me... This is in Japan...

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.


Apparently their goal is to reduce diabetes and stroke. Guess they didn't get the memo that there is no scientific proof to back up this plan...

Can you imagine if your taxes went up because your local municipality had too many "metabo" (short-hand slang for "Metabolic Syndrome")? Holy crap! There would be witch hunts everywhere! Or what if we got fired for being too fat? Think the unemployment rate is ridiculous now??

I hope they repeal this soon. There is a protest movement involving sending 1000 fat cranes to the Japanese Government. I like the idea. Problem is that it will fall on deaf ears... "Clazy fat Amelicans... We can't risten to them or we get fat rike them!"


Sandi said...

That's a bit scary. Wonder if they also realize that a too small waist can signal anorexia! A bit too intrusive for me.

GMOM said...

My previous neighbor works for a company that gives incentives for losing weight. She got a substantial bonus b/c she was less of a health risk after she lost weight (35 lbs). Don't remember the company's name, but it was in Cherry Hill, NJ. Not sure if they gave others bonuses for not needing to lose weight. They also gave bonuses for not smoking, etc. I guess they figure they'll save more money in the long run with less medical conditions and time off. I guess I wouln't qualify for the bonus.

DaisyBug said...

Yeah - well GMOM - had I worked there I would have sued them for discrimination. Bottom line is that even though I am overweight I am completely healthy. My heart, my blood pressure, my sugar levels everything. Why not make everyone get blood work done if you want to check how healthy they REALLY are and not how healthy they LOOK?!?

GMOM said...

I agree with you. I can't believe the company is getting away with this! I wonder how many others are doing this.

Marvin the Martian said...

I think the Japanese government should be commended for keeping an ideal physical measurement visible and encouraging the populace to meet it. After all, conformity is highly valued in Japan. ;-) The government's goal to reduce obesity is very humane, and is of course aimed at reducing healthcare costs. The term "re-education" has many meanings, though, and it's kinda creepy. Still, Japan is going about it in a calm, logical way. In China, they would be more likely to shoot those who refused to comply with the government mandates.

DaisyBug said...

This is my friend Marvin's attempt to get me all sorts of fired up. Unfortunately Marvin - it isn't going to work.

Nice try though. Really.


(mmmmm... snickers... LOL... JK.)

Steven said...

Waist-line is a measurement that must have co-relations with health. Increases in sugar intake correspond with increased waistline fat and with diabetes. Irresponsibly, both have increased dramatically in children in recent years.

(Parathetically, fruit-juice is thought to have more sugar in it than sugar: figure that out!)

Mandating change, especially on a governmental level sounds like two things to me: scary Big Brother and desperation.

Weight is not a measurement of health: movement potential is. Weight responds according to one's level of functional possibilities.

DaisyBug said...

I beg to differ with you Steven. I am living breathing proof. I have an increased waist measurement and yet there is nothing at all wrong with my sugar levels or anything else. I am 42 years old. My cholesterol is 137 and my BP is 117/72. My thyroid is healthy. My vascularsystem is in tip-top shape - my lungs are sparkling clear... According to all the charts I am at least 50 lbs overweight. "MUST" is a bit strong - I do not buy it. People do themselves a disservice to look at me and make assumptions about my health.

iFred said...

When we were teenagers, everybody thought my brother and I were twins. (He was 16 months older.) The reason they thought we were twins was because were exactly the same size; tall for our ages and skinny as a rail.

When I became an adult and settled into my career of sitting at a drawing board 10 to 14 hours a day, I began to gain weight and we no longer looked like twins. My brother remained ridiculously skinny.

Although I was as healthy as Daisy has described herself, people worried about my health and I'm sure they thought I should have been thin as my brother.

The reason my brother never weighed over 130 pounds, at six foot one inch tall, is that he was in extremely poor health. Sadly, he weighed only 111 pounds the day he died in 1982 at age 47.

Now, I'll admit that my sedentary lifestyle has taken its toll on my body, but even so, at age 72, my health is surprisingly good and I hope to be around for a while yet.

And yes, I do miss my wonderful brother who humorously described himself as "Ichabod Crane."

Things are not always as they seem.