I think it’s safe to say as a whole, most of the world sees Japan and other Asian countries as very fit, and not chubby like the west. The most obvious factor is diet. Speaking as an American, I believe that most of us eat way to many carbs. If you don’t do the physical work to warrant eating a lot of carbs, it’s just going to be stored as body fat.
In Japan, the problem of weight is known as “metabo.” Here in America, its also known as metabolic syndrome. While many Americans would be opposed to government regulation of weight, in Japan, citizens are a bit more open to the idea. What Japan Thinks just published a new survey that showed 3 in 5 Japanese citizens are concerned with metabo. ABC News says the reason may be that in Japan, there is a sense of communal engagement (what’s good for the public is good for me.)
Japan’s national program aims to prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease in citizens. Ideal waists for men and women are 33.5 inches and 35.4 inches respectively. If you exceed those measurements, you will be targeted for health education. If you don’t decrease your waistline, your employer can be fined, which in turn may not be the best move for your career.
I’m willing to bet that even Nintendo saw the concern with metabo and chose to market the Wii Fit as heavily as they did in Japan. Within the first four weeks of being released in Japan, Wii Fit sold more than 1,283,000 million units.
Do you think Japan’s answer to chubby citizens could work elsewhere in the world?