Japanese Law Makes it Illegal to Be Fat
April 21, 2012 | by Lycurgus

Don’t get fat in Japan!

According to new laws passed about four years ago, it’s illegal to be above a certain waist measurement.

If a male surpasses 33.5 inches in the waist, he’s considered “fat.” For women, it’s 35.4 inches.

If you reach or go over the threshold, you will have to attend counseling with a physician or, for the more obese individuals, might be responsible for your company getting fined.

To encourage a healthy weight, you also may be given gifts of pedometers and gym memberships, so that’s cool.

The goal of this program is to prevent obesity, as well as to lower healthcare costs.

It may seem almost draconian in its execution, but it’s a good idea, and one the United States could certainly benefit from.


  • I thought Sumo wrestlers were very well respected in Japan.

  • @Sarah Stern BS. Vegetables are cheap, and so are grains and other staples. Organic produce is not the only thing one can eat not to get fat. Finally, people could just eat less, which saves money.
    Put the responsibility where it lies.

  • you are all missing the point! Japan has every right to decide the obesity laws because they provide free healthcare… the US does not so it is our right to live as we choose and get as fat as we want. As long as we pay for our own healthcare then we get to choose how we take care of our bodies. Japan’s citizens are used to their government taking care of those costs for them. I agree we need to bring that to the US….but as long as someone pays for their own inflated healthcare, how does anyone have the right to tell them how to live? We pay so we get to decide…they don’t…so they should get to choose. when someone else is footing the bill what is your incentive to be healthy? the money in our savings, deductibles, copays are our incentive. You all have to stop comparing apples to oranges.

  • @Sean Al-Haffar blaming your country for being fat… yeah, sure…
    i guess i would be fat as hell if i lived in another country who has the same fast food chains as my country does, even though i work out everyday…
    the difference between you and me is that i choose to eat healthy and work out so that i can stay healthy

  • @Sean Al-Haffar I’m sorry but this is the dumbest thing I have seen! I’ve lived here in the USA for 31 years and I’m 105lbs! I’m 105lbs because I take care of myself by eating healthy and exercising. It’s not because of genes or because you live in a certain country. Put down the fork and stop making excuses people!

  • @Josh Colombe I think in Japan’s case it is to do with lack of space due to a large population, not wanting escalating health costs etc, as seen in the Western world now with all the obesity related ill health. It would never be a law introduced in America, too many fast food companies and processed food companies are probably helping fund both parties! I think it’s a great idea though, even though my waist is probably a bit over their limit, it sure would force me to loose that extra 10 to 15 lbs wouldn’t it? 
    BTW I fail to see what is morally wrong with this law?

  • JenniferHKim1 
    False. My genes don’t allow me to get fat, even if I wanted to be. I’m close to underweight for my age, actually.

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