It’s an interesting policy idea on how to beat the obesity epidemic. Just make it illegal to be overweight.
You might smirk at the idea as unrealistic – but in a world where 500 million people are obese one county has done just that.
Pack on the pounds – into the slammer!
(Well not quite…)
In Japan, lawmakers passed what’s now known as the “metabo law” in 2008.
It is not a country you normally associate with obesity. In fact, the OECD ranks Japan with only 3% population obesity – one of the least obese developed countries.
Compare this with Australia that has around 60% of Australian adults classified as overweight or obese. More than 25% of these fell into the obese category – that’s 3.3 million Australians.
But a growing concern in Japan over the spiralling health costs of an ageing population – which would only be greater if afflicted by metabolic syndrome – caused the Government to act.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of such symptoms as problems with cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. It is likely to eventually lead to a stroke, heart attack and diabetes.
The Japanese policy, called ‘Metabo law’ is, in theory, simple – stay below a government-mandated waistline or face the consequences.