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Senior vice health ministers Keizo Takemi –
and Noritoshi Ishida take waist measurements Monday at
the ministry as part of a government health campaign.
KYODO PHOTO

Metabolic syndrome refers to symptoms from various ailments caused by accumulated visceral fat, including adiposity, high-blood pressure, diabetes and lipemia.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, almost a sixth of the population has or is at risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

The government launched a campaign calling on the nation to lose weight and lead healthier lives, as Keizo Takemi and Noritoshi Ishida tried to do over the past six months — almost successfully.

Takemi reduced his weight by 7.45 kg and waist size by 6.95 cm, clearing his target of 5 cm.

“I could not eat nice foods such as sweets and meat. That was tough,” said Takemi, a Lower House member who is also a medical doctor.

Ishida lost 5.7 kg and 2.2 cm off his waist size, failing to clear his self-imposed goal of 6 kg and 6 cm.

“I tried not to drink as much sake,” he said. “Now I realize I can reduce (weight) in everyday life. I will keep up the effort.”

According to the latest ministry survey conducted in 2005, one in every two men aged 40 to 74 has or risks developing metabolic syndrome, as does one in every five women in the same age group.

In total, 9.2 million people of both sexes in this age category have developed metabolic syndrome, and 9.8 million are at risk of developing it, the ministry said.

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