The Japanese government has come down hard on sumo wrestlers, branding them grossly obese and a poor role model for children.
"Japan is suffering under a rising wave of blubber," said health minister, Yung Fat. "Over the past two decades we have seen a tsunami of health problems down solely to the excess poundage being piled on by our citizens."
Japan was once the world leader in healthy living, with more centenarians than any other country in the world. Of late, the population has been getting fatter at a rate that outstrips any country in the world. And Yung Fat knows exactly where the problems stem from.
"This is solely the responsibility of sumo," he said. "About twenty years ago sumo was televised for the first time. Since then, it has become a big money business, with some sumo wrestlers commanding fees of fifteen square meals a day."
Since big business moved in on the traditional sport for the overweight, the wrestlers have been getting more and more chubby.
"In 1999," said Yung Fat, "the average sumo weighed in at a mere thirty stone. In 2010, this was considered the bare minimum just to get a toe hold in the sport, and the average is now rapidly approaching fifty stone. That's half a ton. Some of these so called athletes weigh more than my car. Which admittedly is a Smart car and only weighs thirty-five grammes without fuel."
With the lure of big money and big portion deals for the successful ordinary Japanese with delusions of making it in the sumo ring have been piling on the pounds themselves. The fashion industry has spotted this trend and now produces clothing in Skeletal, Thin, Standard, Tubby and Sumo sizes. Sales of the Sumo Size are increasing as fast as the Japanese waistline.
"I am proposing," said Yung Fat, "that Sumo Wrestling be outlawed. Maybe then we can return to the good old slim days and my wife won't look like the side of a bus."