Over the years, a cabal of American diet dictators has proposed a litany of crazy proposals to tax, legislate, and litigate away our extra pounds. Now foreign food cops have topped them all by implementing an entirely new weight regulation: government-imposed limits on waist size. Two months ago, Japan passed a law requiring companies and local governments to measure the waistlines of residents between the ages of 40 and 74. If the midriffs of those 56 million citizens don’t fall below the state-established limit (33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women), they’ll be labeled “at risk” and subject to a host of mandatory interventions.
U.S. News & World Report notes that the new laws have “given the government and employers, long dominant forces in Japanese workers’ lives, places at the dinner table in ordinary Japanese homes." And Japan’s government is not the only one trying to wedge itself in between people and their food. Late last year, the British Parliament proposed constructing “fit towns” to fight obesity by regularly hosting weigh-ins to track children’s weight, and shipping overweight kids off to government-sponsored fat camps.
Fat fiats aren’t just overseas affairs. American health officials are also taking aim at our food choices under the guise of protecting “public health.” From Los Angeles (home of a proposed ordinance outlawing new “fast food” restaurants) to New York (whose health department guilt-trips consumers into eating low-calorie lunches), for-your-own-good policies are spreading like wildfire. And if we don’t stop them soon, it may not be too long before U.S. politicians are demanding to know our waist sizes too.