Even Japanese women getting thinner!

Shrinking Japanese women

Japanese eating habits have been held up for years as wonders of modern healthfulness. If only we Americans ate more like the Japanese, we’d be skinnier, have lower cholesterol and have less heart disease.

Except … now, the women are going overboard. From The Washington Post:

Public health experts say that younger Japanese women, as a group, have probably become too skinny for their own good. Restricted calorie consumption is slowing down their metabolisms, the average birth weight of their babies is declining, and their risk of death in case of serious illness is rising.

It’s a pandemic! I blogged last week about Indian women shrinking. And now we learn that the beacons of health have fallen prey too?

Sakiko Ohno, a cosmetics wholesaler in Tokyo, … is 40 and has a BMI of 19.5 — low, but still in the normal range.

“I think I am very fat,” Ohno said repeatedly during an interview. “If I have a Starbucks muffin, that night I will skip rice and have vegetables.”

The article mentions the media as part of the problem. But what it really comes down to, it seems, is the women themselves.

Ohno, who is single, said women pay attention to their weight because Japanese men prefer petite women and because fashionable clothes are sized for thin women. “But the real reason why women want to be thin is so they can look at themselves in the mirror and compare themselves to other women,” she said.

Sounds like they need a visit from Dara Chadwick as much as we do.

I’m a freelance writer and editor. Read more about my fascinating self here.

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Published in: on 03/09/2010 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I read this article today too and was quite surprised by it. After watching the Oscars, I noticed that most people seemed to be a healthier weight than in years past. Do you think our image of a healthy weight is shifting here in the US? Do you think our views affect women in other countries, too? To me, these are some interesting questions!

    • Ooh, good questions, Vainjane. I think it is shifting, veeeery slowly. I have hope. And yes, I believe our views affect women in other countries. American movie exports are big business, and they portray skinny, skinny women as the only ones who are attractive–even the only ones worthy of love.

      Thanks for the input and interest.

  2. […] far this month, we’ve heard from India, Japan and New Zealand in the warped-body-image war. Who’s next? Want to make a […]


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