Cell phone helps Japanese stay fit

TOKYO Wed Oct 3, 2007 1:40pm BST

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TOKYO Oct 3 (Reuters) - Worried that you're not getting enough exercise or that you've eaten way too much garlic? A Japanese firm has come up with a phone that can help.

Japan's largest cell phone carrier NTT DoCoMo (9437.T) unveiled this week a "Fitness Phone," designed to help the user stay healthy -- and avoid bad breath.

The handheld phone, equipped with various devices that can measure your pulse or the amount of steps you've taken in a day, dispenses heath advice after you've punched in statistics such as gender, age and weight.

And you can also exhale into the phone and it will tell you whether its time to reach for the breath mints.

"Our primary target groups would be fat-fighting middle-aged businessmen and young women on diets," said Kentaro Endo, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo.

A recent government survey found that on average, Japanese men in their 40s were fatter than they were 12 years ago, mainly due to lack of exercise, while women in the same age group were slimmer because they were more health conscious.

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