Health

Summary. According to a special report released by CNN on June 23, the Japanese government is now taking initiative to stop the negative and costly health impact of the American lifestyle.

Impact on Healthcare. Countries with any kind of socialized medicine or subsidized medicine need to ensure that the population doesn’t have a rapid increase in obesity and related illness which might drain the financial revenues that are adequate for maintaining wellness, but not sufficient for combatting the effects of rampant preventable illnesses. For more about the negative impact of the average American lifestyle, read the article American Lifestyle May Be Detrimental To Health.

Government Guidelines. The new national guidelines require that citizens maintain their fitness and wellness. One measure of this is that men are to have a waistline no greater than 33.5 inches and women are not to exceed 35.5 inches. Employees are required to meet these guidelines or they will be considered overweight and their employers may face fines and increased government health premiums. Companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of all employees and their family members over the age of 40.

Harmful Impact of American Foods. The traditional Japanese meal is about 600 calories and consists of vegetables, miso soup, shaved ginger, onions, and some fish. However, ever since American fast food companies arrived in Japan, the nation has been getting fatter and sicker. Like Trojan soldiers hiding in a wooden horse, fast food arrives undetected in many countries yet its devastation to the population is similar to an invading army. The CNN report sited that a typical American meal from McDonalds (now in Japan) would be about 1,300 calories (a Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke). However, McDonalds in Japan is promoting something called the Mega Tamago (pictured below) — containing even more artery clogging and waist bulging fat than a typical Big Mac. It contains 846 calories and isn’t offered in U.S. locations (at least it doesn’t appear on the U.S. website). It’s not surprising that the Japanese government is alarmed and taking action.

Businesses Respond to Government Pressure. The CNN report showed a food cafeteria at the NEC headquarters in Tokyo. With the possible threat of 19 million dollars in penalties if their employees don’t slim down, NEC is encouraging low calorie healthy foods in their cafeteria. Twice a day, NEC plays exercise music to accompany the group Tai Chi / Yoga-like calisthenics. Employees are encouraged to take the stairs and exercise at every other floor. The company issues pedometers to employees who are identified as overweight.

Real American Food. As most people know, the United States is a melting pot of various cultures. As a result, the food in America is just as diverse as the people. Unfortunately, fast food companies with billions of dollars are trying to redefine what American food is, simply to serve their appetite for sales and profits. So, now, around the world, “American food” is thought to be only fattening foods that cause illness. Hopefully a groundswell grassroots movement can help redefine what it means to eat American food. The video Diet for a New America explores what a new American diet might look like and how it could impact wellness in America as well as the environment.

Resources. To learn more, read the article American Lifestyle May Be Detrimental To Health.

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