Obesity Alarms Traditionally Slim Japan
Men in all age groups have grown heavier in the past two decades in Japan. The highest rate of obesity is among men in their 40s: 34 percent in 2003, up from 23 percent in 1980, according to the National Health and Nutrition Survey. While older women are also growing fatter, younger fashion-conscious women tend to be underweight.
Among children, 8 percent were obese or at risk of obesity in 2004, compared with fewer than 6 percent in 1980. In the United States, experts believe about 30 percent of kids are overweight.
Diabetes is a leading concern. While the number of deaths from the disease has fallen in the past decade, more than 2 million people are being treated for it in Japan -- an increase of about 53 percent from 15 years ago. The number treated for high blood pressure has also grown about 9 percent in the past 10 years, the Health Ministry says.
This is news to me. I only spent four weeks in one part of the country, but I saw nothing but skinny, skinny people there. Even the largest of the people I saw would be laughed at here if they said they were fat.