A recent report from the Ministry of Education shows that children in the Fukushima Prefecture are becoming increasingly overweight due to lack of outdoor activities. This is still in connection with the resulting nuclear disaster from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
The study observed the heights and weights of 700,000 children between the ages of five and seventeen in schools and kindergartens all over the country. The results compared the number of obese children among the 47 prefectures. Obesity is defined as weighing 20% more than the average weight for their height and age. Fukushima had the highest obesity rate in 7 out of 13 age groups.
More than half of the public institutions in the prefecture (56% to be exact) have limited their outdoor activities during school hours, due to the persistent radiation concerns from the Fukushima nuclear plant that had a near catastrophic meltdown in March 2011. In another study conducted by the Fukushima Medical University in April of this year, 36% of the children living in the area have overgrown thyroid glands which makes them more prone to cancer. They examined 38,000 children and at least 13,000 had cysts or nodules as large as five millimeters.
The long-term consequences of the nuclear disaster will continue to arise, including contaminated fish, water and marine life in general. There have been contrasting figures and studies from different parties on this subject matter, so a general consensus or plan on how to deal with these consequences has not yet been reached.
[ via The Australian ]
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