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Japanese gov't to launch survey on weight, dietary habits of young women

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The 2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey showed 20.7 percent of women in their 20s had an underweight body mass index of below 18.5, while 70.4 percent had a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 deemed a normal weight, and 8.9 percent had an overweight BMI of 25.0 or above.

Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus

7. It suggests there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese, with sharp boundaries that hinge on a decimal place. 

That's total nonsense.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106268439

26 ( +30 / -4 )

Japanese gov't to launch survey on weight, dietary habits of young women

How about oyajis?

14 ( +28 / -14 )

In a society in which a woman's value is judged by her looks and media bombard the public with images of unrealistically skinny models and actors, I don't think a survey is going to do much.

19 ( +32 / -13 )

This seems odd, what about men? Both can be unhealthy big or unhealthy skinny. Seems the Ministry needs something to do? Will the lack of stable income be included?, for some it being a lifestyle choice? From the wording in the article they already have made a decision on the outcome. How much will this cost to produce a report nobody will do anything with. Does look like one of those “look at us we are busy” stories.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

By nature and like most of the Asian countries, young women are thin. It does not take much to be underweight.

The problem will not be solved by any mean but will give the feeling of acting.

There is a guidance for people after the health check if necessary, when it comes to lifestyle habits, 生活習慣病予防、

it could be part of it under a similar approach

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The first thing that needs to be done is to stop selling these cheap processed canned and dried instant foods so people can start buying real fresh and natural food. There is nothing healthy about eating Processed, Mixed, Aged, Dried then Nuked junk foods.

Second get rid of these so called diet granola bars and snacks marketed as diet bars and snacks as they contain high levels of preservatives that causes cancers.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

How about improving the Japanese quality of life.

26 ( +31 / -5 )

One more point, how about stop promoting Skinny models as idols, the Plus size is just as healthy if not even healthier.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

This sets my mind at ease knowing that my tax dollars are being spent so well. Bravo! (insert sarcastic emoji here)

S

9 ( +18 / -9 )

BTW...

Isn't that a crop of the same picture that was used in a previous article? Something to do with young couples/ 30 somethings?

Just sayin...

S

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The government has set up a research group to investigate issues including body image attitudes and diet and lifestyle habits, as part of attempts to lower the high proportion of underweight young adult women in Japan, the health ministry said Monday.'

women only? The budget for this should be spent for more useful studies instead of this. The findings of this would be useful, but not very. How about studying what age should authorities begin to revoke the driver's license of senior citizens, self-care options for mental health, and so on.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Agree with Mark and Yotomaya, society is busy selling the image of ridiculously and unrealistically thin women and as long as the massive advertising budgets of companies continue to fund this then this will have no effect whatsoever unless it informs legislative measures to outlaw such inherently unhealthy and unnatural ideas.

Yeah I know, two chances, fat chance and no chance!

2 ( +11 / -9 )

How about taking a look at all the advertisements and societal images of so-called beauty in Japan which are all run by corporate Showa geezers.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

I wonder whose relative is heading this study. I bet somebody is going to get a good pay day and this will probably be the last we hear of it and a university study will be used as the result.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I'd be more concerned about the lady walking across a major intersection looking at her phone.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

It seems kind of sexist but, yeah, a lot of Japanese woman can’t even fill out a pair of jeans because they have no rear-end and nothing on top. Could be genetics on top of anorexia.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Oh good. Surveys to waste time and money. Fun!

Are they also gonna survey how meetings at work are a complete waste of time as well?

Or survey how many crimes the police commit vs the amount they actually solve?

Maybe they can survey how much time students waste on the almighty center test in their lives?

0 ( +11 / -11 )

I hope they are not going to start promoting "fatness" as in the west.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

The government's 10-year Health Japan 21 plan launched in 2013 was aimed at bringing the section of women in their 20s with an underweight BMI to below 20 percent. But it has been unsuccessful.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody ever.

Anybody just have to look at the TV and magazines so see explicit messages promoting an unhealthy standard of beauty. Sometimes even doctors (that should know better) end up making the problem worse because of an exaggerated fear to weight gain, specially during pregnancy, where they put heavy pressure on the patients to avoid gaining weight even to the point of putting in risk the health of the baby.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Seems like a waste of money as we already know what the causes are.

Changing the attitude of society is what would be required, but almost impossible.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

My wife is 58 (she looks 30) and so thin that she's borderline anemic. I have to keep at her all the time to eat. She complains about her tummy, and I remind her that she's had two children. It's not just young people.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The 2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey showed 20.7 percent of women in their 20s had an underweight body mass index of below 18.5

Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me at all. I teach at elementary schools here, and even in the fifth and sixth grade girls are eating tiny amounts of rice at lunch time as carbs make you “fat”. Sad to see this type of thinking ingrained at such a young age, and unhealthy as well since they’re still growing.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why is this just about women only? If you are doing this, then look at the whole lot, like the dietary habits of the Oyaji, salarimen, politicians, students, etc.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Japanese gov't to launch survey on weight, dietary habits of young women

How about oyajis?"

Lol...good one.

In a society in which a woman's value is judged by her looks and media bombard the public with images of unrealistically skinny models and actors, I don't think a survey is going to do much.

Yeah, but it will give a few deadwood oyaji " experts " a chance to do nothing all year but lounge in a few meetings and getting paid a nice salary for " discussing this too priority issue ".

That's what's real important here..

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Having a higher percentage of non standard BMI compared to other developed nations would be normal though, the opposite would surprise me a lot since we would be comparing to western countries. Of course there might be some unhealthy ideals but most of all it's genes and different body types compared to the west. All the people around me including my wife eats way more than I do, exercise less and overall live an unhealthier life, still I have to fight to look somewhat fit while they look like they just came out from a boxers diet.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Oyajis: Ramen Jirou Abura Mashi Mashi! Happou-shu!

Young women: "eats 2-kan of sushi" onaka ippai~

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Another amakudari doing the survey, analysis and fax messages of the results. Hopefully, this would help decrease the number of malnourished OLs in Japan.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Haha. This government knows no boundaries in its quest to be the most socially inept government in the world

This coming from a guy whose country is suffering from a multitude of Social problems. Go home Thomas to the S hole you call a country.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Next they will ask about their period Ew

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

More government spying on individuals privacy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japanese government show care about woman. Healthy woman good japan.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

BMI has to be taken with a grain of salt. According to BMI measurements, Arnold Schwarzenegger is morbidly obese, as just one example of how off it can be.

Anyway, no surprise this kind of thing is coming up as it is clear there are no easy means of boosting the population with Japan's aging population problem and prices on everything increasing. Next it'll be asking about individual cycles and keeping records, and who knows what else. Fortunately it's just a questionnaire for now.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Doctors encourage pregnant women here to be so underweight, it's not much wonder feeble babies are popping out.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Maybe the Japanese government should focus on changing its society's views on what women should look like. I mean they do know that that's one of the root causes of this issue right? Right?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

They think that focussing on women's health will provide more babies? 1950's thinking. They completely miss the point...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Increase the Japanese average or safe range BMI to the same as the rest of the world's problem solved.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Very misguided policy.

Genes make the majority of the difference. Why Americans are "huge and tall" in general vs Japanese, regardless of diet etc.

I personally know several Japanese in their 20s. They are average height 5'2 to 5'4. They EAT LIKE MONSTERS!

Seriously, lunch, boba, ice cream, dinner, dessert.... yet their naturally high metabolism burns off all those calories fast, and they're all in the 90-95lbs range (sub 18 bmi).

They are absolutely not undereating - the amounts they eat for lunch or dinner can put some guys six feet under.

(Not even talking about a Gal Sone type.)

Instead, the focus should be on a. Ability to access healthy foods (some Japanese are poor). b. A healthy diet (eg excessive sodium and preserved foods resulting in high rates of stomach/anal cancer). c. A diet that extends mobility and sound mind into old age (not being able to walk and dementia big elderly issues to quality of life).

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Instagram got huge in the last 10 years, and the tiktok fad only enforces body stereotypes.

My wife eats super healthy and can eat the same amount as me. Doesn’t gain anything. She cooks, or our chef 3 days a week, so no bobateas or crepes for us.

Vegetable and fruit costs have been increasing, some double in the last 3 months.

lets hope Japan doesn't ballon rebound dieting. The only ones who will come out on top is uniqlo by selling so much clothes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Gaijinjland

It seems kind of sexist but, yeah, a lot of Japanese woman can’t even fill out a pair of jeans because they have no rear-end and nothing on top. Could be genetics on top of anorexia.

Don't worry. The racism balances out the sexism.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

adorabledc

Very misguided policy.

Genes make the majority of the difference. Why Americans are "huge and tall" in general vs Japanese, regardless of diet etc.

Genetics may account for the height. But, the "huge" is mostly to do with lifestyle and diet.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

One of the first things I notice when I visit the UK or US is how large most of the women are. It's nice living in Japan!

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Women in Japan tend not to do any works involving strength. That is very clear. Hence no need to eat pretty much.

Otherwise, they can get plump as easily as in the West. I know well some ;)

Naturally your diet will adapt to your calories need. Not if media, society and even your doctor harass you though.

Eat as you feel is my advice.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They want to make Japanese women fatter? It’s the costs of having children that is the reason for declining birth rates, not weight, there’s enough larger girls out there..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Anyway, its not like women don't have enough pressure on them to look good.

What we are seeing here is the LDP slowly and carefully returning to an Edo Jidai format of governance. It won't be a fast and hard return, but rather a slow and continuous barrage of laws quietly passed to reach that goal. Japan in 10 years will be just as oppressive as China. They're not too far back right now as we speak. I really hope someone speaks out against it this.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Ok being underweight is not good but be very very very careful with how you proceed in this.

Look at how or what has happened in the west with the false "body positivite " junk.

Obesity of 20%, 30% or more, overweight ( includes obese and not yet obese) as high as 70% in many western countries.

The health affects of 70% overweight and obese on the general population is far worse than the small portion of underweight women.

We hear complaints that airlines have made the seating smaller, this is true on average 4 cm leg room and 2~3 cm seat width.

Now for the real reason people complain, North American's median weight has gone up by 10 to 20 kilo waist size have massively increased.

On a flight back to North America the woman next to me occupied a portion of my seat, I tried putting the armrest down (she had put it in the upright position) she protested because she could not fit in the seat with it down.

This became a big problem before the flight could take off.

It wouldn't have made a difference had the seat been larger 1970s type she needed 1.5 seats minimum.

But because I was not willing to give up a third of my seat she was calling me names saying I was "fat shaming" her.

All I wanted was my seat the one I paid for and would be in for the next 12 to 14 hours .

Japan needs to be very careful with how it lets the "body positivite" junk into society or we are going to need to widen our favourite standing bars and start building much much much bigger chair in the local teishoku restaurant.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

But because I was not willing to give up a third of my seat she was calling me names saying I was "fat shaming" her.

I had the same situation recently, too. It's so selfish of obese people to only book one seat, when they know they really need two. It was a horrible flight.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

adorabledc

Today 10:50 am JST

Very misguided policy.

> Genes make the majority of the difference. Why Americans are "huge and tall" in general vs Japanese, regardless of diet etc.

Only one major flaw in that regularly made claim.

Why are the children and grandchildren so much more obese /fat?

If it was genetic then our parents and grandparents would have also been huge/fat, but they weren't

My father is a very very very tall man, my mother tiny, my father weighs less than my older brother despite being far taller.

What is the difference? Welly father eats home cooked meals balanced diet, my brother and his family eat prepared foods, a lot of hotdogs, hamburgers, and drink nothing but soda/soft drinks.

I am not obese or fat, nor is my younger brother or my sister.y older brother's 2 children (non adults) are both obese (boy and girl) while my children, my other siblings children are not.

The only difference is diet, we here eat Japanese mostly my other 2 siblings tend to cook fresh meals daily low in fat and processed foods.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

SpideyToday  07:46 am JST

BTW...

Isn't that a crop of the same picture that was used in a previous article? Something to do with young couples/ 30 somethings?

My first thought too.

I am surprised at the extremely high number of girls who have a high bodyfat composition.

They are underweight obese.

Never mind the useless BMI index.

Talking about in excess of 25% bodyfat.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

David Brent

Today 01:10 pm JST

But because I was not willing to give up a third of my seat she was calling me names saying I was "fat shaming" her.

> I had the same situation recently, too. It's so selfish of obese people to only book one seat, when they know they really need two. It was a horrible flight

Next time say to the airline staff you are going to be requesting their names, that of the person occupying part of your seat because you will be seeking compensation for the discomfort and loss of your full seat.

Make sure they understand you are going to go after the obese person primarily and airline as "co-defendant".

They suddenly find you a better seat.

I have been moved to business class.

Don't tell, don't get angry remain calm respectful but firm.

Works every time, my children have done the same my parents used to also.

You are entitled to the seat you paid for and the whole seat

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Genes make the majority of the difference. Why Americans are "huge and tall" in general vs Japanese, regardless of diet etc.

The difference with what? healthy people? the problem is not that Japanese women weight less than in other countries, the problem is an unhealthy BMI that leads to many different health problems such as those described in the article. Saying trying to correct this is "misguided" makes no sense, even if the cause was genetic that do not make the problem disappear, it would only explain why that problem is so common.

Imagine that someone says it is a misguided policy to promote a more healthy diet and ifestyle in the US because most of the obesity problem is caused by genetics, would this make you think "oh yes, if it is genetic then there is no use in preventing it"?

Look at how or what has happened in the west with the false "body positivite " junk.

Nobody is talking about any body positivity, just to correct a problem with a lot of people being underweight. The objective is not to make everybody gain weight, just those that are underweight to the degree of having health problems. There is nothing that makes impossible to address both problems at the same time (and a doctor can, without a problem tell a patient she whould gain weight and the next one to lose it).

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The proportion of underweight people is higher than in other age groups,

The 50-something love of my life has an 'unhealthy' BMI of 17.5 and is super fit.

and Japan's level is above those of other developed nations.

Hardly a realistic comparison, is it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We had the 'metabo' boom 10-15 years ago. Will Taijū fusoku become the 'Tai-fu' boom?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kind of interested in the results. Japan was like (one of?) the only country in the world where the average weight and waistline of females was smaller than that of their post-war counterparts….

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel that many of these women who are so thin or try to hard the be thin have some kind of eating disorder. All the standards this society throws at Japanese women is absurd. Make up, the same clothing trends, shave all over their bodies, maintain weight to look like a twig, too much of something and people will find it rude. Stop sexually harassing the women and let them judge for themselves.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Imagine that someone says it is a misguided policy to promote a more healthy diet and ifestyle in the US because most of the obesity problem is caused by genetics, would this make you think "oh yes, if it is genetic then there is no use in preventing it"?

obviously you don't read western news or watch western programs.

They actually do say the being obese/ way overweight is "natural" "genetic" and should be accepted as is. They even object to insurance companies charging more to insure obese people.

You asked a question that the answer is readily available, and it is they are actually going around saying being obese is natural.

Why do you think Vogue magazine recently had an "obese" model on the cover, it was pressured into it by the body positivite movement.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Being underweight puts individuals' health at greater risk, and can present dangers to newborn children

Don't think having children is on the minds of most young women

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Of course their first bit of reasoning is to get these ladies as effective baby makers. Geeze.

but yeah another useless government panel and survey. Closing that wage gap and not cutting off their career advancement when the boss finds out his favorite young new hire has a boyfriend might be more effective than trying to figure out why all the women are starving themselves to be thin like a lot of the filtered instagram photos they see daily and magazine ads

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

this is a lifestyle issue of the work work work mentality in Japanese bigger cities just to make enough to save a hundred each month.

Take train 3 hours a day, to work in a job they don't like, finish at 8pm, if they go to the grocery store and cook for themselves, they will be be finished at 11pm, after meal prep and washing dishes, and washing the trash.

Or eat fastfood, or super market bento, and some junk food, and watch some netflix to relax.

work life balance needs to be looked at if you are to understand japanese diet. Those with time have much better diet then those without time and the unfortunate working poor class.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They actually do say the being obese/ way overweight is "natural" "genetic" and should be accepted as is. They even object to insurance companies charging more to insure obese people.

The question is intended that way, not as a rhetorical one but as a practical example how saying being malnourished because of genes is as invalid as saying being obese can be excused because of the genes.

Having a genetic component do not make a problem stop being a problem.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Being underweight puts individuals' health at greater risk, and can present dangers to newborn children

They should look at the risks of being overweight and obese and pregnant.

Compare the 2 lists. Incredible night and day as the risks for being overweight far far far outnumber those of being underweight

Now here is a simple fact.

A pregnant woman can gain weight with the proper diet quickly and with little risk to the fetus.

And obese or seriously overweight woman that is pregnant cannot easily lose weight and even more without running many risks to herself and the fetus.

I was skinny all my life until I reached over 40, then came the recent heart attack, gaining weight was fast with the reduced activity and heart, trying to loose that weight is a major challenge especially with the heart damage I now have.

A woman that is pregnant can gain a lot of weight, but an obese woman trying to loose weight pregnant or not is not easy even harder once she is pregnant.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Women in Japan, Korea, China, Asia in general don't seem to be unhealthy underweight. They seem to be the correct weights and slim. Obesity and overweight is the biggest health risk now in the world. In the US 70% of people are overweight or obese which is why healthcare costs are extremely high.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They should look at the risks of being overweight and obese and pregnant.

Why, is it also a common problem in Japan? The reason why being underweight is in focus is because it is a public health problem.

This is not a dichotomy, promoting a healthy weight gain during pregnancy do not automatically means promoting overweight pregnancies. The "greater risk" is in comparison with a normal gain of weight, which is not as easy to get as you think it is, specially with doctors (and society in general) telling the patient to do the opposite because of outdated and dangerous concepts of what is desirable during the pregnancy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

virusrex

Today 03:25 pm JST

You don't get it!

At first in the west they started with "unhealthy" underweight, then they moved to legally discriminate by imposing BMI minimums ( I know my son who is quite healthy but very very skinny a straight he inherited from me) had his contracts cancelled in Europe and Canada under the new laws despite having medical documents saying he was perfectly normal and healthy.

Then came the fat is Ok using the "body positivite" anti fat shaming backdoor.

Soon you couldn't hire far models even obese models but anyone that was thin was attacked in the media regardless if they were healthy normal weight or underweight.

This is why I say proceed with caution.

You can no longer use the word fat even overweight and obese are now nearly forbidden words.

Plus size, is what they now use and I don't mean a naturally big tall wide woman, I mean short or tall rounder than their height.

We have gone from promoting unreasonable beauty and being thin to saying being seriously overweight is just fine the difference is death due to being underweight are far rarer than those due to being fat, overweight obese.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

They aren't dumb, they know the reason why no one is having kids now is because it's almost impossible to do it comfortably in Japan, what's the real purpose here?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Always been jealous of Japanese girls’ skinniness. Im slightly overweight, need to get rid of extra 10 kilos to look and feel more healthy but its impossible for me since endocrinal chronic issues, weather i starve or diet i wont lose a gramm, though i do try to eat more healthy than the majority but the portion of my meal is always way larger than the others’ its because of a higher appetite, but if i dont do any physical like going home on foot while carrying heavy bags in the heat and need to get them up to the fifth floor in the appartment block without any elevator. This happens almost every day. In winter, the temperature at work around 15 degrees C while it may be -10-15 outside(still bags to carry) lots of housework as well so if i dont eat to my fullest id already be dead till now;( and still there’s lots of other stuff to do, so...

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Yuuju..

weather i starve or diet i wont lose a gram

Stop kidding yourself. Eat fewer calories than you burn...

You can do it if you really want to.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Pregnant women gain weight due to the change in hormones. If one is prone to it one will gain an extra weight during pregnancy and after the labor. Wether you diet or not hormones are not stabilized with cutting on your food intake or eating only vegetables. One of my friends got super skinny after the labour though she d been more overweight

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well I guess since Japan has one of the worlds longest life expectancies, they must be doing something write.

Of course the buy one get one free culture in the US/UK or buy 2 get the third free, terrible school dinners in the UK and US help them become fat people. Where as Japan has a a better dietary education where as the UK/US see everything as an infringement on their freedoms. We can now compare the body weights from the 1950s to the present day and obesity and concomitant diseases increase solely on diet. I also think the west think being fat is normal and complain about fat shaming. Maybe anorexics have a fear of getting fat by looking at fat people and seeing how society judge them. It is not just because of models.

Of course id doesn't help when you come to Japan and suddenly you've jumped 2 or 3 sizes, and when I go back to the US/UK I drop down 2 or 3 sizes even though I haven't lost any weight.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Perhaps if the companies paid more, the women would could purchase more food and eat more. After all they control the purse strings.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Whether it's a media projection or otherwise, Japanese reportedly/seemingly have a penchant for spindly women with zero muscle tone.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There is too much emphases on being thin in Japan!!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Where’s the woman always screeching that men shouldn’t tell women what to with their bodies and it’s none of their business?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You don't get it!

I already explained the reasons of which you make not even an effort to disprove. That would mean the one not getting it and just being fixated is not me.

Once again, this is not a dichotomy, you can promote a healthy body weight without ever having to promote being overweight, most countries in the world do it routinely, The US and Japan don't in opposite ways.

There is absolutely no requirement to make people accept being overweight in order to correct the public health problem in Japan. none.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Yuuju

though i do try to eat more healthy than the majority but the portion of my meal is always way larger than the others’ its because of a higher appetite,

This is why you can't lose a gram. You are eating more calories than you are burning. Doesn't matter if it's excess calories from fried chicken or from broccoli, you still won't lose weight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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