Have you ever seen a fat Japanese? Probably not. Certainly thanks to the metabolic campaign implemented by the Japanese government, which in 2008 passed a law to combat overweight, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases related to “fat”. The “Anti-metabo” law has introduced very specific parameters. It is designed to measure the level of body fat during the “special check-ups” on an annual basis. So, is it illegal being fat in Japan?

Men and women between 40 and 74 years of age must undergo this test. And the set limit is 33.5 inches, equal to approximately 85 centimeters for men. While for women it is 43.5 inches equal to approximately 89 centimeters. Those who exceed the parameters, initially get three-months consultation by the dietician. Then, overweight citizens follow further checks.

Heavy financial penalties are applied to those who don’t follow these rules.

But why did Japan adopt this strategy?

In addition to a purely “health” discourse, the main objective of the Japanese government is to avoid hospital overcrowding. Therefore reduce costs on public health expenditure. In parallel, the use of bicycles is almost essential to promote physical activity in Japan as well as the Netherlands. For example, automatic underground parking spaces for bikes have arisen.

Read Also: Travel in Netherlands

As mentioned, the campaign was born in 2008, when the Minister of Health started talking about the pathology of metabolic syndrome, nicknamed “metabo”.

In no time at all, a massive media campaign began, so much so that posters reading “ Goodbye metabo ” were displayed in all the clinics.

On the initiative of a group of citizens, the group “The Seven Samurai Metabo” was born, but the campaign came to a sudden halt when a 47-year-old activist, with 99 centimeters of waistline, died of a heart attack jogging.


According to the anti-metabo movements, measuring the waistline can be a discriminating factor especially for the world of work. In fact, in order to avoid sanctions, companies would tend to hire people with the “health Curriculum” in accordance with the law. Furthermore, it seems that the numerous anti-metabo recipes have given rise to speculatory phenomena, without however guaranteeing concrete results. Opponents also believe that this is too strict and unnecessary legislation.


According to studies carried out by researchers at the University of Kyoto, tomatoes counteract metabolic disorders and the accumulation of fats. There have been many studies on Japanese diet and its benefits for the body. The Japanese diet is based on rice, vegetables and fish. These are all simple and delicious things they do to help shed a few pounds. Do you want to know more about the Japanese diet ? Click here. In addition, their lifestyle habits consist of meditation, walking and enjoy little things. Even more, eating fresh and healthy foods help them to live a long and healthy life.

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