Monday, January 28, 2008

Japanese kids shape: thick or stick-thin

How to tackle the obesity epidemic in children, with efforts
hampered by bureaucracy' attempts to stay friendly with the
powerful sometimes unsafe Japanese food industry?

Equally important is how to consider the problem of girls
not eating enough in some cases, starving themselves to
death in order to look attractive? Japanese young girls
aspire to be thin when stick-thin models dominate the
pages of magazines and advertising walls. Pills and medicines
add to the Japanese super diet teas "burning fat" syndrome.

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But this is not just enough disorders.

"Currently in Japan around 10% of the population is
considered obese, up from just 3% in the 1970's. In
America, that number is 30%, nearly 33% of all Japanese
men aged 40-49 are overweight which is up over 11%
in the last 20 years" ... "these people are not clinically
obese, it is highly likely that they will suffer many of
the same symptoms in their latter years."

"As of last year, about half of all Japanese men over the age
of 40 already either had symptoms of metabolic syndrome
(getting fat; having high blood pressure, hypertension and
diabetes; and a prevalence to heart attacks, certain types of
cancer, and strokes, etc.) or were developing it, while just
20% of all Japanese women did so.

Child obesity has triggered commercial opportunities in an
area where you would least expect it: the Video Games Inc.
Besides McDonalds, most parents blame video games and the
consequent lack of physical activity as being a major
contributor to Japanese kids gaining weight."

80% of Japanese kids play video games weekly and do
not walk around during their free time with their noses
stuck in one, 58% play for more than 1 to 2 hours a day on
days off school. Look at them in the subway. Not necessarily
in the richest neighborhood. (Text & agencies)

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