According to the health mag enclosed with today's Observer, they've introduced a new scheme to combat obesity in Japan. (Didn't realise it was much of a problem there, apart from sumo wrestlers, who want to be that way). Apparently anyone between the ages of 40 and 74 with a waist over 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women will be given three months to shape up under their own steam. If that doesn't work, the metabo', as the tubby are known in Japan,then get compulsory dieting guidance, with re-education for repeat offenders and financial penalties for employers. Here's an older article from when the scheme was first announced. (33.5 inches doesn't seem very big at all to me, but maybe Japanese men are smaller in general?) The idea is to reduce obesity by 25% within 7 years.
I can just imagine the response if the Government tried to introduce something similar in the UK. Although I guess the politicians would have to set an example by going first. The thought of the like of Nicholas Soames having to sign up is almost enough to convince me it's a good idea.