In Japan, being thin isn?t just the price you pay for fashion or social acceptance. It?s the law. [...]
In Japan, already the slimmest industrialized nation, people are fighting fat to ward off dreaded metabolic syndrome and comply with a government-imposed waistline standard. Metabolic syndrome, known here simply as ?metabo,? is a combination of health risks, including stomach flab, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Concerned about rising rates of both in a graying nation, Japanese lawmakers last year set a maximum waistline size for anyone age 40 and older: 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) for men and 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) for women.