Do You Think Obesity Should Be Illegal Like In Japan?

Japan got a law in 2008 where being obese is illegal. If your waist is bigger than 90 or 85 cm (Depending on which sex you're), you're considered obese and needs to lose weight. You don't need to go to jail, but you needs to go down in weight and if you can't manage it on your own, you gets professionals to help you losing your weight. They helps you making a exercise and eating plan.

In addition if a employer is overweight and doesn't slim down, his/her workplace have to pay a fine. In a Japanese work place they do exercise. They do enforce the law checking every people in the country and measuring their waist.

(Source: NRK. no - Norway's official news channel and page which is taxed, YouTube video)
Do You Think Obesity Should Be Illegal Like In Japan?#Overweight #Japan #ObesityLaw



  • Yes (Explain why, please)
    Vote A
  • No (Explain why, please)
    Vote B
  • Yes, but the law should be lesser strict
    Vote C
  • Other (Explain what and why)
    Vote D
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What Girls Said 18

  • ... Well unless you go all authoritarian nightmare mode you can't actually criminalise or punish something like this with actual legal repercussions. Not on the individuals themselves, anyway.

    I'm trying to source check what you said in the question - it does seem to be something that is written as law. But it sort of acts more like a guideline for specific individuals. There's no punishment for them, exactly, its on the companies who hire them. Which to me... I'm not super uncomfortable with that idea, in itself. Monetary fines for something of this nature is still a bit too controlling for my own moral ideology.

    However, I would not at all object to something more roundabout as a negative reinforcement - such as having to pay additional healthcare costs / rejecting you for certain procedure or vetting you or reducing the amount you are entitled to in welfare gains. As long as the reason is related only to weight gain only and not an extra underlining medical problem.

    Right now we have those in varying degrees - at least here - in England. Sometimes the NHS will be unwilling to pay for procedures because of weight, and you have to go private to get it done, but I feel like it's not being enforced as much as it could be.

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  • No. If a person wants to drink soda and eat fattening foods, then that's their choice. If they want to balloon up to 600 pounds, and die when they're thirty that's also their choice. It's the beauty of America.

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  • It is not a crime to be fat in Japan, as most of these viral posts state. Japanese citizens can’t be fined or imprisoned for being overweight. jacksonville.com/.../fact-check-it-illegal-japanese-residents-be-overweight

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  • I think it's great to encourage your people to be fit and healthy... but... what's the punishment for obesity? Jail time? Mandatory fat camp?

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    • They doesn't need to go to jail and it's only the companies that gets fined. If you don't lose weight and can't manage on your own, a professional have to help you. You gets a eating and exercise plan.

    • For free? That's amazing.
      10/10 wonderful idea. Let's bring that to the US - Lord knows we need it!

  • Yes it should be illegal, but beside that being underweight and underweight models should be banned too. It should not be based on BMI but more effective methods. And those with hormonal problems should be considered but still given a diet/exercise routine to maintain a good health, or progress slowly depending on the individual.

    But before all these, I want our nation to get rid of malnutrition.

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  • Well first of all it's NOT TRUE that it's illegal to be obese in Japan.
    What is true that middle aged and older men and women have to have their waistlines measured once a year. And even that's an oversimplification, in fact it's up to employers to get something like 60% of people to participate.
    But falling outside the norm is not a criminal offense like you claim

    ffs at least pretend like you fact checked this before posting some click bait question

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  • That would most definitively cut down on the obesity rate in the US, which is desperately needed. How long what that stick and how well would that work out? Probably not well at all given that the US is NOTHING like Japan. We have different morals and didn't outlooks on things. You would be seeing A LOT of protests and outcry.

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  • I could do with that motivation XD but I think you can't force someone to do something, their free to do what they want to their own body. ^-^

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  • While I think that our nation would benefit from something to try and encourage more exercise and more conscious eating, I definitely do not think the government should have ANY involvement whatsoever. As a libertarian I think it should stay out of everyone's fucking business lmao. That is extremely authoritarian and would go against the American goal of liberty and freedom.

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  • No, but I would give tax breaks to those who have a healthy BMI as they are likely to use the NHS less.

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  • I think it's funny

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  • I think putting the burden on the general public is wrong. When we have huge corporations putting all kinds of fattening crap into the food and marketing it using extremely advanced advertising campaigns geared toward getting kids addicted to junk food. And actual healthy food is more expensive than fattening crap, people are all going to get very fat. So I would tax the FDA and penalize the evil food corporations instead of taxing poor fat people.

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    • Not just that they make it addictive/appealing as possible. I think that it's an obvious problem that we don't even attempt to regulate it. The problem is the money it brings in are huge. The problem is that once these people get into the cycle they generally can't pull themselves out. Even if they stopped eating all that crap they'd still be fat.

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    • I don't think so, but maybe.

    • I thinks it really depends. Some people are genetic bigger than others without being unhealthy. They can eat well, exercise regular and have no sign of health problems, but their body types aren't of the smaller type. But other people could avoid being big if they changed their lifestyle.

      Some also have a medical condition making losing weight more difficult than on average. It may be the condition itself or medication they takes.

  • No because obesity is generally due to a medical problem so it's hard to make it illegal when it's something you can't help.
    All the obese I know have a big problem to what they're obese, it's not something they enjoy neither want to be.

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    • 7d

      Not all are medical problems.
      I would say this law is great, why? Because you get counceling and you get to see a dietician.
      People here in the US eat fast food ''daily'', they are surprised to see me bring food from home and God forbid you eat a fruit they call you healthy.

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    • 3d

      @Listening5 In a ways it's great, for the health and all (we talk about it on tv too) but it's quite boring when we have to wait and can't do anything.

    • 3d

      @Listening5, I'm from Norway and therefor my username is "curious norway". I've never experienced things like that in my country.

  • The biggest crop in the US is corn. They have to do something with all this corn, so they make a bunch of bullshit devoid of nutritional value like chips and "fruit flavored drink" which is just water+food coloring+corn syrup. Since there is so much corn, this is what is most affordable, and that's why obesity rates are higher amongst the poor.

    How about we outlaw that first?

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    • Corn is valuable for use as ethanol... and once cellulosic ethanol (in which the whole cob is consumed, not just the kernels) is viable, it could and likely will replace petroleum as fuel.

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    • 7d

      Cellulosic ethanol, once it's commercially viable, has the potential to be competitive with oil AND also allow energy self-sufficiency vs oil imports. Rather than just the grains of the plant, you use the whole thing (or waste leftovers from food production) and that's why it's such a big deal.

      Food deserts are another thing entirely and I wouldn't blame corn for that. I don't see how you could 'ban' them unless you were going to provide government subsidized stores to sell fresh produce where there is currently no demand.

    • 7d

      @meatballs21 I'm not blaming corn for it, I'm blaming supply and demand. Poor people buy what they can afford, which is corn based products because that's what there is most of, and that leads to health problems like obesity.

      I don't think corn is evil!

      Also, the thing about using corn as a resource is that the people with the money and power have oil, and are going to want to exploit that for as long as possible first

  • No. we need to stop giving benefits to fat people

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  • i'm not aware of this. then again i've never worked for a ”normal” company

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  • can't really illegalize a person's health, so...

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  • isn't it already llegal? i heard that the ones who are obese pay some money to the government

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What Guys Said 31

  • Eeeh... I'm torn.
    On the one, I find such a law quite an infringement on personal freedom. It shouldn't be anyone's concern how I live and what I consume.
    On the other hand, we all know that obesity is a huge problem in modern society and that it creates tremendous costs for the national health system. Obesity is currently the #1 cause of death in developed nations.
    Also, helping people to lose weight by providing professional assistance is a positive thing I think. I certainly wouldn't say 'no' to a free personal trainer ;-).

    So overall, I probably lean more to supporting such a law than disagreeing. However, in the context of Japanese culture and society, I have to say I find it extremely hypocritical. Japanese students and employees get almost no sleep and they have to work very hard. In that sense, Japanese people don't live very healthily. So while it is good to care about people's health, the concerns don't seem earnest when the society and culture tell the people to work themselves half to death.

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  • To implement the sort of changes needed to even make this law remotely practical in any part of the US would mean other laws being passed, that would put many retail and shopping centers out of business trying to comply with the changes.

    The store I work at is seemingly set up specifically so as to make it logistically near-impossible for the workers to eat healthy. To change that around would require expensive modifications that I can guarantee you, the store won't pay for.

    Also, we're policed enough already. Outlawing fat - especially for those with genetic conditions - is flat-out asinine. The expense of enforcing such a dumb law outweighs any benefit to insurers. Doubly irritating in a nation where we're forced to have insurance whether we need / like it or not.

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  • No. I don't care about whether it would make the nation healthier or longer lived or help the economy or any other argument for it, true or not. Instead I care for the one person (if it were just one, but really it would be millions) whose life is made hell because they can't or can't easily lose the weight for any reason, and/or have things going on in their life which would have otherwise been fine if not for the weight police cracking down on them.

    And not everyone *can* lose weight. The vast majority of overweight and obese people could lose weight in at least two ways though. One is being forced in an unhealthy or inhumane manner to lose the weight, including being convinced to starve themselves or take on unhealthy diets or drugs, being legally forced to eat and do certain things, starvation and/or forced labor and/or being pumped with drugs or whatever. Another is if they have a profound mental change. Obesity cannot be cured by making someone know that if they did certain things, they could be healthier. It comes from the brain, and it's not something that is their fault. Like other mental conditions, it takes a lot of work, support, and science based psychological and medical knowledge to do this rather than common wisdom or sense.

    Still, there are some people who medically *can not* lose the weight. Their metabolisms are depressed due to medical conditions that cannot be helped. They do not expel enough energy to make up for what they get from the amount of food needed to sustain them nutritionally, even if they could hit the gym, for you "it's a simple equation..." people. The human body expels most of its calories as body heat or internal activity that is done at all times, not by physical exercise, unless you spent most, all, or more, of the vailable time of a person in modern western socierty, running, doing pushups, rock climbing, etc.

    Also, many overweight and obese people do not even have a problem for themselves, much less others. While being fat, these people still do productive work, love and are loved, do not burden the medical system, and are healthier than thin people who neglect their bodies but are not stigmatized for it. Being that way isn't glorifying obesity, or bad health, either. Neither is feeling good about yourself even if you are very unhealthy. It's being confident in one's self as a human. That's actually necessary *before* weight loss, not after, when weight loss is needed, for you "fat acceptance is bad" people.

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    • 7d

      I've been too lazy to put a reference number after every point above and cite peer reviewed sources to each one, but I might just be able to and at least find I was pretty close, if I did not have anything better to do in life. So in short, treating people as dignified humans, even capable of being beautiful or wonderful whatever their health, is how you get a happier, healthier and more productive society. This does not include criminalizing or bullying or anything else, because if someone is happy they will get healthy. If they are happy and unhealthy, they will seek out what to do to change it, and do that, without you telling them to. If they are unhappy and unhealthy, they will not change for the better even if you demand they do.

    • 7d

      And really this place, this site or this world, would be better if every point were specifically scrutinized, such as with peer reviewed sources, and scrutinized for logical fallacies. This is why science is better than a bunch of people babbling, the former increases standards of living while the latter does not.

      However even if it were, people will have their opinions, and will be lazy and not listen, or angered and not listen, or confused and not listen, or will listen but not accept, or will accept but do nothing. So it becomes pointless to even try to tell anyone anything. When everyone else agrees with you, it makes so much sense, but most of us will not want to listen to someone who disagrees to objectively determine who is correct. We will just put up mental barriers and dismiss anything that comes out of their mouth.

  • Yeah, its a fair law that ultimately is enforced to ensure the population stays healthy. How can you really argue against the government making sure you're as healthy as possible?

    Of course, you must keep in mind that Japan has an entirely different cultures. Most countries have fatty fast food chains across their food markets. Its kinda hard to gain weight when your country is an island famous for rice and fish. Not exactly fattening meals.

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  • Japan is the only country that makes being fat illegal, and the only country to have been bombed twice by atomic bombs... coincidence? I don't think so.

    Bravo for Japan, the West needs to learn something from them.

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  • Well Japanese people are very different when it comes to dedication and discipline compared to the rest of the world. Also how are they going to inforce this law, since many government officials are overweight themselves and then there is the fact that in some cultures being fat is seen as a good thing.

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  • No, it's none of my (nor anyone else's) right to tell someone else what to do with their body.

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  • In my country US they would have to arrest 60% of the population, then there would be a revolution.

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  • If Obesity is a crisis like the media, doctors, and everyone says it is then the answer is yes. Why should I pay for medical treatment for preventable causes. Once people understand that Obesity, smoking, and drug addiction are preventable then the medical, local, national, and worldwide community should act. I say down with Obese people. If this helps make healthcare cheaper and treatment better then do it.

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  • It's a myth m8. It's debunked. I came across this video long time ago.

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  • Free will.
    It's their body, so as long as they pay for the food they're putting in it, let them use it however they want.

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  • Yes, because the majority of obese peoples are simply people who can't control their impulses and it cause severe issues for the economy when tax payers money is wasted in the drain for fuckers who can't say no to a donut for a day.

    If there is no NHS or tax payers money being poured into health services for fat peoples I wouldn't really care whatever you do.

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    • Why do you send a voice message instead of writing? Just curious.

    • to check whether u guys can understand my foreigner's English skills

    • Some sentences is possible to understand, but other sentences are difficult to understand. I thinks it's more practical when people are writing than making voice message or videos of them talking. That's just my opinion.

  • How is it illegal? You didn't even mention a punishment. I don't understand.

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    • 7d

      If they can't lose weight on their own, a professional gives them a exercise and eating plan. If an employer don't lose weight, the working place can get fined.

    • 7d

      Still doesn't really make sense. Maybe I'll look into it myself.

  • I like this.
    For the counseling and dietician is worth it.

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  • You shouldn't jail people for being fat. That's fucking stupid.

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    • In Japan they doesn't get jailed. If you're breaking the law, a professional visits you and helps you losing weight. They gives you a eating and exercise plan. If you won't lose weight your working place have to pay a fine to the government for not making you exercise enough on your job. In Japan they exercise in their jobs and sometimes they gets food there too depending on the place.

  • so Sumos are illegal workers in Japan intresting

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  • wow would love to have that here in the netherlands :O. its hard to motivate urself :<.

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  • they should have to pay for the cost of the extra health care they use. The rest of us shoudn't have to pay for fat peoples poor choices

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  • Since we are regulating the crap out of everything else and people in the US seem to like to be controlled by the government and that everyone is killing themselves with obesity yes. Ration their food for bad behavior why not.

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  • People have right to be obese or not.

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  • It shouldn't be illegal, but people should have campaigns to encourage against it but if some people dont care about their health we shouldn't waste the govt money on them

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  • Really?

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  • You can't force people to be skinny, average or fat (obesite). YOu should definitely help them to get over with it

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  • You misunderstood it, it's not illegal.

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  • Not illegal but it should be encouraged

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  • When a country reaches that level of evolution then maybe.

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  • never knew that

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  • Anyone who says yes is a fascist hateful moron.

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