Weird Laws

Do you think that the United States has a problem with obesity? While this is often in the news, especially due to the rising rate of deaths due to heart disease, officials in Japan have taken things farther than most countries ever will in trying to fight obesity. In fact, they've even made it illegal to be fat.

Waistline Requirements

The law would apparently be too open-ended if it stated that people could not be fat, which would be something of a judgement call for officials. How would you determine if someone was actually too fat, with so many variables, like height, muscle mass, and more? To get around this issue, Japanese officials decided to lay out waistline requirements, and those who exceed them are in violation of the law.

For women, the maximum allowable waistline size is 35 inches. Things are even more strict for men, who can't have a waistline over 31 inches. This law does not apply to everyone, but appears to target those who are over 40 years old. This implies that young people are naturally skinnier, but officials may want to make sure that people did not put on serious weight as they got older.

Sumo Wrestling

Obviously, this is something of a controversial law, as people have pointed out that sumo wrestling started in Japan. Wrestlers are enormous; they face off in a ring, using their bulk to push each other out of the ring. The average wrestler clocks in at over 300 pounds, so it's safe to say wrestlers over 40 years old break those waistline requirements.

It is only fair to note that this is a new law, having come on the books in 2009. Sumo wrestlers have been around for centuries, as sumo wrestling is one of the oldest forms of athletic competition that is still being practiced today.

Don't Ignore Your Legal Options

If you're ever in violation of what seems like a bizarre law to you, remember that the ramifications can be very real, so it pays to know your rights and defense options in every case.