511-pound sumo wrestler makes a heavy pledge

Japan’s heaviest sumo wrestler has pledged to his fans that he will gain even more weight. Yamamotoyama currently weighs in at 511 pounds, but the 24-year-old’s goal is to tip the scales at 531, surpassing the previous Japanese record holder, retired wrestler Susanoumi, who reached 529 pounds. Yamamotoyama is reported to have once devoured 146 ...

593567_080801_sumo5.jpg
593567_080801_sumo5.jpg

Japan's heaviest sumo wrestler has pledged to his fans that he will gain even more weight. Yamamotoyama currently weighs in at 511 pounds, but the 24-year-old's goal is to tip the scales at 531, surpassing the previous Japanese record holder, retired wrestler Susanoumi, who reached 529 pounds.

Yamamotoyama is reported to have once devoured 146 pieces of sushi in a single sitting, so packing on another 20 pounds seems doable. But he might be setting himself up for a difficult situation 16 years from now. This year, Japan enacted a policy that requires citizens ages 40 to 74 to undergo mandatory "fat checks." Those with waists more than 34 inches will be put on special exercise programs. It's part of an effort to keep citizens' bulging bottoms from breaking the government's budget, as reported in the FP article, "Bulging Bottom Lines."

Surely, though, there must be a special sumo exemption?

Japan’s heaviest sumo wrestler has pledged to his fans that he will gain even more weight. Yamamotoyama currently weighs in at 511 pounds, but the 24-year-old’s goal is to tip the scales at 531, surpassing the previous Japanese record holder, retired wrestler Susanoumi, who reached 529 pounds.

Yamamotoyama is reported to have once devoured 146 pieces of sushi in a single sitting, so packing on another 20 pounds seems doable. But he might be setting himself up for a difficult situation 16 years from now. This year, Japan enacted a policy that requires citizens ages 40 to 74 to undergo mandatory “fat checks.” Those with waists more than 34 inches will be put on special exercise programs. It’s part of an effort to keep citizens’ bulging bottoms from breaking the government’s budget, as reported in the FP article, “Bulging Bottom Lines.”

Surely, though, there must be a special sumo exemption?

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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