TOKYO - Japanese high school girls are the least satisfied with their body shape compared with those in China, South Korea and the United States, with over half believing they are fat, according to a recent survey by a Japanese government-affiliated body.
They hold such views despite the fact that 71 percent of Japanese senior high school students, including boys and girls, have body mass indexes indicating normal weight, the highest proportion among the four countries, according to the survey by Japan's National Institution for Youth Education.
Around 23 percent of Japanese high school girls are satisfied with their body shape, the lowest percentage in the four-country survey, while around 52 percent of the girls believe they are fat or a little overweight, the highest proportion among the four.
On the reasons for the Japanese outcome, Yoichi Akashi, head of the institution's Research Center for Youth Education, said, "There are many students (in Japan) who yearn to have body shapes like celebrities. Also many Japanese tend to be concerned about what other people think of them."
The survey on body mass indexes showed that 50.2 percent of high school students in China, 65.6 percent in South Korea and 59.0 percent in the United States were of normal weight.
Among students in China, 48.2 percent of high school girls viewed themselves fat or a little overweight, compared with 45.9 percent in South Korea and 19.7 percent in the United States.
In another question about body shape, over 60 percent of high school girls in the United States said they were satisfied, while 40.5 percent said so in China and 31.6 percent in South Korea.
The survey on students' mental and physical health, conducted in September to November last year, covered 8,480 students.