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Vol. 65 (2007) No. 2 P 67-73



A risk of life-style related diseases has recently been found in the younger generation. This study identifies the risk factors of life-style related diseases during the last 19 years in young children who have been living in the suburbs of Tokyo. The subjects were 5, 001 children aged 4 to 6 years who attended nursery schools in this city during the period 1984 to 2002. The indicators observed were weight and height, blood pressure, serum biochemical measurements and food intake. Obesity and a high level of serum total cholesterol (TC) were used as risk factors for lifestyle related diseases. The prevalence of obesity varied according to the year by±5-15%, while the prevalence of a high level of TC tended to increase. To assess the relationship between the primary factors for obesity, a principal component analysis was performed in respect of the food intake of meat and fish, while a similar analysis was performed on the primary factors for a high level of TC in respect of the food intake of vegetables and fruit. The results indicate that an excessive intake of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol and lack of antioxidative materials in foods would influence the prevalence of a high level of TC even in young children. It will be important to provide early care and support for children through nutritional education to prevent obesity and a high level of TC.

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