• Jiji


Japan has seen an increase in obese male adults over the past years, a health ministry annual survey showed Tuesday.

The share of such men began to rise after broadly leveling off between 2009 and 2013. There was no significant increase or decrease in the share of obese female adults.

“We need to analyze factors for the increase” in obese men, a ministry official said.

The ministry’s national health and nutrition survey is aimed at assessing the people’s health conditions and lifestyles.

The latest 2019 survey covered 4,465 randomly chosen households. Of them, 2,836 gave valid answers.

The survey found that the ratio of men whose body mass index, an indicator of obesity, stood at 25 or higher came to 33.0%, up 4.4 percentage points from 2013.

It also showed that 39.7% of men in their 40s and 39.2% in their 50s were overweight with a BMI of 25 or higher.

Meanwhile, the share of obese women stood at 22.3%, showing an insignificant increase of 2.0 points.

A total of 39.3% of obese men said they have no interest in improving their diets or think they should but do not plan to do so. For obese women, the proportion stood at 33.1%.

The survey also found that 34.9% and 36.3% of obese men and women, respectively, are not interested in having better exercise habits or think they should but do not plan to do so.

Asked on hindrances to their plans to improve diet and exercise habits within a month or six months, with multiple answers allowed, 41.6-52.8% of male and female respondents, including those who are not obese, said they are busy with work, household chores or child-rearing and thus have no time.

“How to support improvements (in diet and exercise habits) with our future measures is important,” the official said.

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