Japanese Disaster Made Kids Fat: Fukushima Fears May Be Cause

A March 2011 Japanese disaster made kids fat according to a newly released government report. The cause for the spike in obesity rates among the youth in an area of Japan is being blamed on fears of radiation from Fukushima nuclear reactors.

The reactors suffered devastation during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan’s eastern side. The tragedy claimed the lives of thousands of Japanese citizens and leveled entire towns. The event is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in Japan’s history.

Asia Daily Wire reports that Japanese officials believe fear of radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors has led to weight gain in the area’s youth population. Remaining indoors for longer periods of time to avoid possible airborne radiation prevents children from taking part in healthy outdoor activities.

The government report was released this week by Japan’s education ministry. During a news conference a ministry official stated the following:

“The amount of exercise has declined in Fukushima, mainly among elementary school pupils, as outdoor activities in some locations have been restricted after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.”

The results were determined after surveying the height and weight of 700,000 children throughout Japan. Measurements from the country’s 47 prefectures were compared and showed Fukushima to have a higher rate of obesity in seven out of thirteen of the survey categories.

For the purpose of the study obesity was defined as “weighing 20% more than average for their age and height.”

According to The Examiner, this is not the first time Fukushima’s effect on children has been studied. In July a published report revealed a possible link to a higher youth cancer risk in that area. According to the report, more than a third of the children in Fukushima have abnormally large thyroid glands.

The future consequences of the Fukushima plant disaster have not been fully determined. The possible long-term radiation effects have been speculated upon and debated frequently.

What do you think of the new study suggesting that a Japanese disaster made kids fat?