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Japan's pudgy pop stars take aim at obesity prejudice

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By Kwiyeon Ha

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deploying their cheeky cuteness to combat prejudices against obesity.

More like "entering an already saturated market in an attempt to make some money

Interesting to note that the article doesn't call them an "idol group", although one member does

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Fans gather to meet Pottya members for a high-calorie lunch each month, with the menu of one recent meal featuring rice, noodles, chicken and potatoes—all fried.

Ok, overweight, chubby, whatever, being plus-sized is one thing, BUT promoting an unhealthy lifestyle is something TOTALLY different!

16 ( +20 / -4 )

as if Japan doesn't have enough earthquakes..

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Fat is not cute.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

The groups name is not “Pottya”, as the "tya" sound doesn't exist in Japanese. The group's name is ポッチャ, "Poccha". Just because your keyboard will convert "tya" into チャ for you, doesn't mean you should use that as English spelling. I hate when people write like this when it is obviously the wrong pronunciation. しゃ written as "sya" is another example. I expect better from someone writing for Reuters!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Please note that the group spells its name Pottya on its official website.

“People assume that incorrect transliteration is a sign of laziness or lack of self-discipline,” said Michiko Ohashi, the group’s heaviest member at 87 kg and a height of 167 cm.

It's never bothered me much....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

People come in all different shapes and sizes and variations outside of healthy ideals exist and thats totally normal... however I really don't like this movement of just be as big as you want and thats fine, don't say anything and pretend its just as attractive to the majority... its not.

Im currently overweight.. its a simple undeniable fact.. and I need to do something about it if I want a long healthy life.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I agree with Yubaru. Sometimes its in the genes and can't really be helped. But when you just let yourself go by knowlingly eating unhealthy foods, that's where the problem lies.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“People assume that being chubby is a sign of laziness or lack of self-discipline,” said Michiko Ohashi

Ok, fair enough, sometimes it is genes, or actually being big boned, or-

Fans gather to meet Pottya members for a high-calorie lunch each month, with the menu of one recent meal featuring rice, noodles, chicken and potatoes—all fried.

Wait, what??

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Obesity makes all of our health insurance go up. Stay thin and stay trim.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I was wondering about these young girls diet. These Idol group work out really hard. like hours upon hours of dance practice. Similar to professional sportspeople. Even people with genes or big bone slim down. So I assume or bet that they eating high a calories diet to stay this size. Like sumo,s. Sumo have a huge following.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They are though making themselves the object of ridicule, just like Matsuko Deluxe, or that guy in the giant romper suit who says "mai-u" a lot or that young woman whose thing is "fat". Not a healthy situation all round.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Don't want to be a fat man.....

Ian Anderson

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is it always about weight, when we lazy folks never get any attention. I would start a worldwide movement but I just can't get it together.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

why would you need to promote obesity? Fat people create more methane gaz and have direct effect of global warming in addition to wasting my national insurance taxes cause they are sick more often.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

In the gay world there are "chubby chasers" (デブ専), and I admit that it can be, um, appealing. Also, this is a little sexist. Nobody complains about Sumo wrestlers, who are much larger than these girls.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They DONT promote obesity, they promote the fact that even though you are Chubby (Pocchari, yes you are right Striker10, JT should fix that) you can still be attractive or cute. Yes obesity is a problem btw, not denying that.

Also as John-san said, they have to dance a lot, so they can indeed be compared to sumo. I'd like the people who critize them see how well they can dance without being chubby.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Obesity makes all of our health insurance go up.

Does it? Do you have anything to show that? If it does, it's a scam, since fat people die earlier and cost less money to the system, so they're ripping us off if they are raising health insurance costs due to fat people.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Pottya aren't that good but Chubbiness are brilliant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it does, fat people are on average more sick and require special assistance often, as such they use larger percentage of the basket. why would you think they die faster ? do you have anything to prove that... especially US technology has become quite amazing in letting them survive way beyond the natural life

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

it does

Do you have anything to support that?

fat people are on average more sick and require special assistance often, as such they use larger percentage of the basket. why would you think they die faster ?

I don't 'think' anything, I'm simply repeating scientific studies. Fat people (and smokers) die earlier, which costs less to the system overall than people who live longer, incurring more end-of-life costs in their old age:

The lifetime costs were in Euros:

Healthy: 281,000

Obese: 250,000

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/22/alcohol-obesity-and-smoking-do-not-cost-health-care-systems-money/#57c4321913c2

The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.

On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.

Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/health/05iht-obese.1.9748884.html

4 ( +6 / -2 )

mmmm usually i would refuse this type of girl, just a personal preference. but this group shows that at least some fat women can still be a bit hot. well done! gaijinplaya

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Strangerland, in the long run is the key, as you may know those costs are evaluted and adjusted per year .. it would be misleading to evaluate it based on average lifetime of a healthy person vs fat simply because fat is not the only reason for shorter life but it is one which is easily correctable vs someone with heart or such issues, basically fat people are fat because of their whim .. oh and here some real stats from a country with less than 36% obesity http://www.noo.org.uk/LA/impact

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The groups name is not “Pottya”, as the "tya" sound doesn't exist in Japanese. The group's name is ポッチャ, "Poccha". Just because your keyboard will convert "tya" into チャ for you, doesn't mean you should use that as English spelling.

It's also due to the two forms of romaji used by Japanese themselves. Seeing as how JT IS and English forum they should be sticking with Heburn-style which would have made it "Poccha" as you have noted here.

This is a mistake by the folks who translate the Japanese articles into English, and their inconsistent usage of both forms of Romaji.

Obesity makes all of our health insurance go up.

Once again ignorance of the Japanese system rears it's ugly head here!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Alex: you keep referring to big people in a dogma tone. My doctor see myself a very very lucky person the way I eat and have a cholesterol count floating around 4. I eat 250gm of butter, 10 litre of Unhomo milk and deep fry most of my protein a week. I float around 75 to 85 kg during each year. I can drop 5 kg in a week easy by cut out these food and biking, 10kg it takes 4 weeks by getting on my bike and riding 20 km a day. I eat unhealthy and I am lazy. But if you viewed me for day , you would assume that I healthy. So I assume you have a visual dislike for big people. I have too but i don,t know or assume their lifestyle or assume they are unhealthy because of their so call whim. I just assume they are big, like people are white which I have a dislike for, with me being white. I really like to be golden brown but I am stuck with being pasty white. Alex It is just another person. I find your comment prejudges.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

john-san, it is called willpower. knowing you "could" vs actually doing it is the whole point.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Alex EinzDEC. 16, 2016 - 12:07PM JST

Strangerland, in the long run is the key, as you may know those costs are evaluted and adjusted per year .

Let's do the numbers.

Thin and Healthy:

life expectancy 84, Costs after 20 years old, $417,000

Costs per year $417,000/(84-20)=$6,516/year

Obese:

life expectancy 80, Costs after 20 years old, $371,000

Costs per year $371,000/(80-20)=$6,183/year

Smokers:

life expectancy 77, Costs after 20 years old, $326,000

Costs per year $326,000/(77-20)=$5,719/year

Thin and Healthy costs the most per year, too.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@John Michael Wgit: Fat is not cute.

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am glad these girls have the courage to stand up against stereotypes created mostly by the fashion industry. I have seen enough women who have been struggling to fight their genes by starving themselves repeatedly, trying bogous diets and what not.

Only hope that they will change the menu of the monthly lunch they have with their fans.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they had bands and brought in a member for her beautiful voice and/or dancing ability and who happened to be a little overweight her message might carry meaning if she were talking about some of the things these ladies say. But intentionally forming a band of overweight ladies BECAUSE they are overweight and not hiring them in other bands because they are overweight does absolutely nothing to further their supposed cause, but reinforce current stereotypes and encourage name-calling and making fun of them, especially when the band name is a slang referring to chubby people and it's meant as entertainment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

as you may know those costs are evaluted and adjusted per year .. it would be misleading to evaluate it based on average lifetime of a healthy person vs fat simply because fat is not the only reason for shorter life but it is one which is easily correctable vs someone with heart or such issues

Did you actually read the studies that these numbers were based on?

Thin and Healthy costs the most per year, too.

You can't calculate it on a per/year cost, because young healthy people will rarely go to the hospital, and older people will go more often. This is why non-obese cost more overall, because they cost more at the end of their lives than fat people do.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Striker10

The groups name is not “Pottya”, as the "tya" sound doesn't exist in Japanese. The group's name is ポッチャ, "Poccha".

I agree with your point, but it seems this is how the group spells their own name. Actually, a lot of the weird spellings in Japan are self-inflicted.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

this is a proud tradition going back to Fatty Arbuckle of the silent film era.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan's pudgy pop stars take aim at obesity prejudice

You do understand the irony of the headline, don't you JT? You mention 'obesity prejudice' and in the same breath use the word 'pudgy' .

Fat people create more methane gaz and have direct effect of global warming in addition to wasting my national insurance taxes cause they are sick more often.

Are you insane? I'm overweight and I am rarely if ever sick. As for the methane... how much more insulting can you get? You think overweight people just fart constantly? Defecate freely anywhere? Not meaning to be personal, but you're an idiot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No, this isn't taking aim at prejudice, it's just catering to a niche market: a fetish for pudgy girls.

They found out you can be fat and make money doing it, like Naomi Watanabe, Chris Farley, and so on. So more power to him, but don't act like they're heroes because they're telling everyone it's okay to eat an unhealthy diet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These 'pudgy' pop stars are downright anorexic compared to the fatty sumo wrestlers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As usual ... I merely pick up the remote and click to another station whenever I see such things on the tube ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This thread shows that body fascism is still alive and well.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

naturalclown123: No, this isn't taking aim at prejudice, it's just catering to a niche market: a fetish for pudgy girls.

This is why this idol group exists - it fits a niche market in an overly saturated market for pop idols. Naturally they are going to turn something with a fetish appeal into a positive for themselves. That's just good marketing. I agree to an extent that popular culture and the fashion industry influence the negative stigma associated with being overweight. But it's also due to the fact that being overweight is not considered healthy. Conversely being underweight is not looked at in the same way.

Every idol group out there are full of young ladies that are nothing but skin and bones. I don't understand the desire for girls to want to have upper arms as big around as their wrists. To me that is just creepy thin more associated with meth use than a healthy lifestyle. Even many Japanese men seem to be extremely thin and thus less masculine. It is bizarre and beyond me how a Japanese women can see the most desired type of man as having the physique of a teenager. That just seems to go against the grain of human evolution.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Being unhealthily overweight isn't good... being "thick" and voluptuous is. <,<

2 ( +4 / -2 )

being "thick" and voluptuous is. <,<

In the land of skinny and short stature there are going to be plenty of people that disagree with you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many years ago, I saw a march by a group of "large" people. One of them had a sign, "Thin People Die, Too."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do Japanese people, and I live here in Japan American school teacher, call Sumos or some of those really healthy looking stout judo and karate players fat and unhealthy as a muscular but stout man I do get offended at times by people who judge the outside and not the inside.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't fat shame people, but also don't promote an unhealthy lifestyle. In this case however, are they really actively promoting on becoming fat? Maybe just passively, like how some super skinny models promote that lifestyle as well. Still, I don't think they mean any harm. I think what they're saying is that they're comfortable in their own skin, and that bullying is bad to anyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some plump Japanese women are really cute.

Cuddly and curvy... big booty ... a lot to love.

TBH, I much prefer them to the stick insect type.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Striker10: "The groups name is not “Pottya”, as the "tya" sound doesn't exist in Japanese. The group's name is ポッチャ, "Poccha"."

Wrong. It exists perfectly well. It's called Nippon-shiki, and still makes up the majority, likely, of how Japanese people write Romaji. Now, you can argue very well that if they write Romaji in Nippon-shiki almost no native English speaker who doesn't know the different systems is going to pronounce it as they think it is pronounced, but you cannot say it does not exist. It's not just in computers and electronic dictionaries that it's written like this either. A lot of curriculum these days favors Hebon-shiki (in my opinion for the better), but most people above the age of 30 have studied Nippon-shiki in their school days, and some curriculum still teaches it.

What you said would be like saying that writing "Busan" is not correct Hangul (Korean), but it should be "Pusan" with a "p". The former is actually the "correct" version, it just won't be pronounced that way by most native English speakers unfamiliar with how the language works.

Moderator: We've already explained this point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is such a thing as too thin, just as much as there is a thing as too fat. I personally prefer balance. Skinny and slender are two different things. Voluptuous and overweight are also two different things.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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