TOKYO Japanese men worried about bulging
bellies now have another option to cutting back on beer -- slip
into a boxer brief girdle or T-shirt with tummy-control panels.
Overweight adults are still far rarer in Japan than in the
United States, but the trend is definitely up for men,
especially the middle-aged. Many suffer from metabolic
syndrome, a condition characterised by excess fat around the
A fashion trend toward slimmer cuts in suits and
form-fitting trousers is also making men -- even the relatively
slender -- more worried whether their hips, bellies and thighs
"We made our men's brand aimed at those in their 30s and
40s, but it has been selling well among younger guys too," said
Asako Iwahashi, a spokeswoman for underwear maker Triumph
International Japan, which introduced its line of girdles for
men last year.
"Young men are wearing tighter trousers now and like women,
they want a cleaner line."
Wacoal Holding's "Completely Nude" tummy-tightening briefs
are also proving popular, as are Fukuske Corp's "Shapers for
Men" line of shorts and T-shirts, company officials said.
How much men are willing to suffer for fashion, though, is
still in some doubt.
"Lots of older men come to look at the support underwear,"
said a spokeswoman for a Tokyo branch of Tobu Department Store.
"But sales aren't growing drastically yet."