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Japan Foods, Video Games and Getting Fit

Sajid Adam Kamid
 


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In relation to Japan's plight to seeking trim waists, there is seemingly an unnoticeable duel going on between the chubby Japanese and the video game makers. According to Japanator, it was noted that while Japanese eating habits are turning unhealthy, exemplified for instance by the emergence of McDonald's Mega Mac and Mega Teriyaki (about 900 calories), there is a business crocodile with its mouth gaping for the money from the individuals soon to opt for quick solutions to their expanding waistlines - the video games makers like Konami and Nintendo. The two video game giants are making waves with their Dance Dance Revolution series as physical education products and wand waggling games and Wii Fit respectively.

The law requires that Japanese companies and local governments alike must measure the waistlines of all its employees and family members over the age of 40, and if the men exceed the waistline of 33.5 inches and women past 35.5 inches, they will be considered overweight. There will be a fine for every inch over the allowable. With the fear of losing their jobs, working individuals will have the high tendency to quickly jump for a Wii Fit.

This law may sound strange but it is part of Japan's efforts in keeping its people healthy and in good shape. By the next four (4) years, Japan is targeting to reduce its overweight population by 10%.

But I think, this issue can be addressed like that of cutting the trees by the roots. Why not look into the foods chains too?

Now I remember a Philippine National Police program spearheaded by Gen. Panfilo Lacson in the year 2000. Lacson wanted the police officers with waistlines measuring more than 86 cm (about 34 inches) or so dismissed if they don't get shaped up. “Shape up or ship out" was Lacson's ultimatum. This thing went with a 6-month fitness program for overweight and unfit officers to ensure they are able to perform their duties - a prelude to a series of moves by the force to weed out unfit personnel.

There were varied reactions to this from different sectors. I wonder what happened next.

Sajid Kamid
http://www.skamid.com

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