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What percent of Japan is overweight?


Obesity is a growing concern worldwide, and Japan is not an exception. In recent years, the country has seen a rise in the number of overweight and obese individuals. This article aims to explore the prevalence of obesity in Japan and shed light on the factors contributing to the problem.

Defining Overweight and Obesity

Before delving into the percentage of overweight individuals in Japan, it is essential to understand what constitutes overweight and obesity. The terms are defined by a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or higher is classified as obese.

Japanese Snack Box

The Prevalence of Obesity in Japan

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), 26% of Japanese adults were overweight as of 2016. The same report found that 4.3% of adults in Japan were obese, which is significantly lower than the global average of 13%.

Factors Contributing to Obesity in Japan

The rise in obesity in Japan can be attributed to various factors such as changes in dietary habits, sedentary lifestyles, and an aging population. The traditional Japanese diet rich in fish, vegetables, and rice has been replaced by a more Westernized diet high in fat, sugar, and processed foods.

Changing Lifestyle Habits

In addition to dietary changes, many Japanese people have increasingly adopted sedentary lifestyles due to technological advancements and long working hours. This lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Cultural Attitudes Toward Obesity

In Japan, there is a cultural emphasis on being slim and fit, which can make it difficult for overweight individuals to seek help or support. Many people may feel ashamed or stigmatized due to their weight and may not receive proper medical attention or care.

Impact of Obesity on Health

Obesity can lead to various health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. It also puts a strain on healthcare systems and can lead to a decrease in quality of life for individuals affected by it.

Efforts to Combat Obesity in Japan

The Japanese government has implemented various initiatives to address obesity in the country. These include promoting healthy eating habits, encouraging physical activity, and increasing awareness about the risks associated with obesity.

Role of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals play a critical role in addressing obesity in Japan by providing education and support to patients. They can also help identify individuals at risk for obesity-related health problems and develop strategies for managing their weight.

Promoting Healthy Eating Habits

To combat obesity, promoting healthy eating habits is essential. Programs aimed at educating people about nutrition and healthy cooking practices have been implemented throughout Japan.

Encouraging Physical Activity

Physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity-related health problems. The Japanese government has implemented programs aimed at increasing physical activity levels among children and adults.


The prevalence of obesity in Japan has been on the rise, but efforts are being made to combat the problem. Promoting healthy eating habits, encouraging physical activity, and increasing awareness about the risks associated with obesity are crucial steps towards addressing this growing concern.

Why is Japan’s obesity rate so low?

Japan’s success in avoiding the obesity problem faced by most of the western world is down to three main factors: an appreciation of good food from cradle to grave, a lifestyle that encourages incidental exercise, and a large dollop of paternalism.Aug 26, 2022

Are most Japanese underweight?

Japan is already among the thinnest industrialized nations, thanks to a diet of fish, vegetables – and small portions. But while young women have become too skinny, Japanese men have moved to the opposite side of the spectrum.Feb 17, 2012

What country has highest obesity rate?

Nauru has the highest percentage of obesity in the world, with 59.8% of its population affected. Other countries with high obesity rates include American Samoa, Cook Islands, and Palau, with over 50% of their populations affected.

Why is it hard to get fat in Japan?

It is believed that the typical Japanese individual consumes around 200 fewer calories each day compared to the average American. This is attributed to the higher costs of food and traditional dietary practices in Japan, which are deemed to be healthier.

What do Japanese people eat to stay thin?

The diet is rich in steamed rice, noodles, fish, tofu, natto, seaweed, and fresh, cooked, or pickled fruits and vegetables but low in added sugars and fats. It may also contain some eggs, dairy, or meat, although these typically make up a small part of the diet.Sep 19, 2019

What weight is chubby in Japan?

In Japan, individuals with a BMI of 22kg/m2 or higher are classified as overweight. Women in Japan view themselves as overweight if their BMI is above 23kg/m2, whereas Japanese men are considered overweight if their BMI surpasses 25kg/m2.

Conclusion cont.

It is important to continue monitoring the prevalence of obesity in Japan and to identify new factors that may contribute to the problem. With the right strategies in place, it is possible to reduce the number of overweight and obese individuals in Japan and improve overall health outcomes for the population.

Individuals can also take proactive steps towards maintaining a healthy weight by making dietary changes, increasing physical activity, and seeking medical attention when necessary. Support from family, friends, and healthcare professionals can also be beneficial for those struggling with weight management.

In conclusion, obesity is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to address effectively. By working together, individuals, healthcare professionals, and government officials can help combat obesity in Japan and improve health outcomes for all.

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