Recent epidemiological studies provide strong support for the hypothesis that the daily consumption of fruits is effective for preventing such diseases as cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The value of fruit is considered to be equivalent to that of vegetables by health-conscious American and European consumers concerned with preventing such diseases. Health authorities in the USA recommend a diet of five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. However, in Japan, fruit is given less attention than vegetables by the average consumer concerned with nutrition and disease prevention. The consumption of fruit in Japan has recently decreased or remained at the same level. It is possible that this may be due to a general mistaken connection between fruit consumption and the risks of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. Youthful consumers are especially susceptible to this misunderstanding, and their consumption of fruit has recently been decreasing annually. Fruit is a significant source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Furthermore, fruit contains numerous bioactive substances, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which play an important role in protecting from oxidative damage. Recent epidemiological studies about the relationship of fruit consumption and chronic diseases are reviewed.
Meal planning skills that are easily practiced in a daily life tend to be strongly needed in view of the prevention and treatment of life-style related diseases to cater for the wide variety of the life styles, health problems, meals and cooking methods, and food information. The “Lunch Box Diet Method, ” which is based on the framework of the Dish-Selecting Method of nutritional education, has been theoretically and practically proved to be effective for understanding one meal volume, and an intervention (educational) program to understand the appropriate volume of one meal was created, which has included one study meeting, we asked 49 mid- and high-age female learners as subjects to participate in this program for a practice period of 1 to 3 weeks, during which they could practice the method freely according to their own schedule. The learners practiced the “Lunch Box Diet Method” for an average of 9.4±6.7 days in their daily life. The volume of meals during the practice period became more appropriate than that before the study meeting, and their weight, percentage of body fat and blood quality have significantly improved. Their dietary knowledge, attitude and behavior have also significantly improved. 96% of the learners encouraged their family, friends and neighbors to test the “Lunch Box Diet Method.” These results indicate that the program is easily usable in daily life and is effective for producing meals and improving health.
Although smoking has already been proved to cause health problems and non-smoking programs have been widely promoted, the number of female adolescents smoking is increasing. The aim of this study is to derive the relationship between the smoking status and dietary habits of 870 female college students who responded to a questionnaire survey. The data indicate that 16.8% are current smokers, 9.1% are former smokers, and 74.1% are non-smokers. Of the current and former smokers, 52.0% started smoking at high school, 28.0% at college, 16.9% at junior high school and 0.9% at primary school. The earlier the starting time to smoke, the more were the number of cigarettes smoked a day. The current smokers missed more breakfasts and lunches, ate dinner at home less often, and took meals more irregularly than the non-smokers, with the results for former smokers being between the two. The frequency of eating potatoes, soy bean products, vegetables and fruits was lowest with the current smokers and then with the former smokers, while the frequency of drinking alcohol was highest with the current smokers and then with the former smokers. The current smokers and then the former smokers were more subject to an unsuitable diet than the non-smokers, putting them in poorer health than the non-smokers. The results show that the smoking habit of female college students was related to their dietary habits, so health and nutrition education for female college students should be focused on both not smoking and diet.