To curtail Japan's overweight population, the Japanese health ministry recently mandated that all waistlines among its 56 million workers over age 40 be below “regulation size” of 33.5 inches (for men). Any company failing to bring its employees’ weight under control--as well as the weights of their family members--will be fined up to 10% of its earnings by the government.
The Bloomberg story linked in the post above is a little less exclamatory:
Companies will be required to cut the number of overweight workers and dependents by 10 percent as of 2012 and 25 percent by 2015. Failing to do so will result in a surcharge of as much as 10 percent on contributions to a fund for elderly care. Insurance groups paid 6.4 trillion yen into the fund in 2004.
Still, the threat is ominous. It shouldn't be against the law to be fat, and companies shouldn't be penalized because their workers are fat.
Update, 4/10/08: Socialized health care isn't polling well, but it's polling better than makes me comfortable.