Women with a waist circumference of above 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) may be considered obese according to new guidelines prepared by the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity.
The current standards indicate women as excessively fat if their waist circumference is over 90 centimeters (35.4 inches).
The new guidelines would see women with waist circumference over 80 centimeters as obese even if their body mass index (BMI), which measures weight in relation to height, is under 25. According to actual standards, people with their BMI under 25 are not too fat.
Experts have discovered that people with too much visceral fat experience increased risk of arteriosclerosis and other problems even if their BMI is under 25.
The change in the system will likely affect a planned review of the health check program by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.