Eastern Europe

Russia May Fine Citizens For Being Overweight

Russia May Fine Citizens For Being Overweight
Image by Aleksandr Markin
Russian girls in aviation

Russia may fine ‘large waistlines’ in a bid to reduce obesity, copying Japan which instituted the practice a decade ago, according to Moscow’s health and consumer rights watchdog.

Japan made it illegal in 2008 for citizens between 40 and 74 years old to exceed the state-prescribed limit of 85 centimeters for male waistlines and 90 centimeters for female waistlines. Russia is on a drive to reduce obesity and improve nutrition as part of President Vladimir Putin’s national goals signed after his inauguration in May 2018, which included calls to ensure sustainable natural population growth, reported The Moscow Times.

Russian citizens famously attempt to eat very well and spend a lot of time usually in the kitchen preparing fresh vegetables. However, obesity is still a problem, especially in the outlying regions.

“We’ve studied the experience of countries with the highest life expectancy very carefully,” Rospotrebnadzor’s chief Anna Popova told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday, pointing out Tokyo’s experience with waistline reduction, colloquially known in Japan as the “Metabo-law,” reported The Moscow Times.

“The applicability [of the practice] to Russia and Russian citizens is a question that will be discussed over our first year of work on the national goals,” she said, adding that studies currently being conducted would help reach a conclusion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made social issues and spending a key focus for the coming years as the Russian population has suffered since the recession in 2014 due to the global drop in oil prices and Western sanctions levied against the Russian Federation due to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.

Development…Russian authorities now deny they ever discussed fining Russian citizens and were simply ‘exploring’ what other nations have done to address the problem.

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