There are a number of food, nutrition and health issues in Japan: an increase in irregular and nutritionally unbalanced meals, the rise in obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, excessive desire to be slim, especially among young females, a series of incidents related to food safety, over-dependence on food from abroad. In response, the Shokuiku Basic Act was formulated in June 2005 to promote Shokuiku, or Food Education. In March 2006, the Shokuiku Promotion Basic Plan, which consists of basic principles for policies related to Shokuiku promotion, items related to the targets in Shokuiku Promotion, issues related to comprehensive Shokuiku promotion, and issues necessary for comprehensive and systematic promotion of the policies of our country regarding Shokuiku promotion, was implemented. Based on the Basic Act and the Basic Plan, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is promoting Shokuiku in cooperation with Cabinet Office (CAO), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). For example, MHLW and MAFF decided the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top, which shows the approximate recommended amount and menu of dishes for a day, and MAFF had popularized the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top through national media. The Shokuiku Promotion Basic Plan will be revised by March 2011. MAFF is taking part in the consideration of revision of the Basic Plan with CAO and relevant Ministries.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate a practical method of determining more accurately conversion factors for calculating the protein content of food from the total nitrogen content (N : P factors) and to propose a reliable procedure for routinely converting total nitrogen data to the protein content. First, mushrooms and vegetables were selected as model foods to explore a novel method of determining N : P factors for the reason that these foods contain high levels of nonprotein nitrogen. These foods were analyzed for total nitrogen content, amino acid nitrogen and nonprotein nitrogen and then the N : P factors were calculated. Based on the results, the novel method for calculating N : P factors was proposed; the N : P factor was defined as the proportion of the amino acid residue content to the total nitrogen content. The average N : P factors calculated by this novel method were 3. 99±0. 76 (mean±SD) for mushrooms and 4. 10±0. 60 for vegetables. Protein contents estimated using these factors were in good agreement with the contents determined by amino acid residues. Second, applying this novel calculation method, the N : P factors for some other foods were investigated. Cereal products and several pulses were determined the novel N : P factors, based on the total nitrogen content and amino acid residues. The averaged factors were 5. 26 for rice, 5. 47 for wheat, 5. 54 for other cereal products and 5. 51 for pulses. Then, the N : P factors for 295 foodstuffs in “the Revised Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan, Amino Acid Composition of Foods”, were calculated. These results suggested that the N : P factor of 6. 25 commonly used for many foods was not a realistic factor for estimating the protein content of food by converting the total nitrogen. Third, the protein contents of 11 school lunch menus and 2 convenience store lunch boxes were calculated from the total nitrogen content using the novel N : P factors. The proportion of the protein contents multiplied by the novel N : P factors to the traditional protein contents was approximately 84%. The averaged novel N : P factor for 13 menus was 5. 16±0. 10. The protein content of diet meals containing various foods should be multiplied by this value. It was concluded that this novel calculation method should be practical and suitable for the evaluation of the N : P factors.
Recently, nutritional education has made the transition to an education that encourages the practice and continuance of adequate eating behaviors based on theory of behavioral science. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between the self-efficacy of the eating behavior and food intake in order to examine the ideal method of nutritional education that is desirable for the elderly. We conducted a self-administered questionnaire survey with 42 elderly people (mean 74. 9±standard deviation 4. 7 years old) on self-efficacy regarding dietary behavior and food intake. In order to reduce the burden of the subjects, and minimize its error, we calculated food intake based on one-day food records (dishes name or food name, and their approximate quantity). The results are as follows. 1) Those who answered, “Yes, I can do this quite well” to the question of “use a nutrition label when buying food”were less than 15%. 2) The intakes of all dish classifications were beyond these recommended dishes intake, especially fruits, milk and milk products, and snacks, confectionery and beverages far exceeded them. 3) No relationship was observed between all the self-efficacy items except for one item: “eat many vegetables” and the food intake situation. 4) For the optimum intake group of vegetable dishes and the nonoptimum intake group of milk and milk products, the ratio that these occupy in all the high groups of self-efficacy items were high. 5) The high self-efficacy group and high nutrition awareness group involved inadequate (excessive) milk and milk products intake. 6) The results, which were classified by the type of household, the high self-efficacy group of “eat many vegetables” and “limit the intake of fatty and greasy foods”and the optimum intake group of vegetable dishes, those of multiple generation households were significantly low compared with the one-person and married couple households. These results suggest that the indices development that measures properly the self-efficacy of the dietary behavior of elderly people is required. Moreover, it is required to create the opportunity for nutrition education for the elderly people, because they may have the knowledge of desirable food intake, which was lacking or mistaken. The education needs to teach how to take snacks appropriately and utilize nutrition labeling, and to involve their families and the person in charge of cooking.
The protein contents of diet meals containing various foods were calculated from the total nitrogen content using novel conversion factors that were suggested in our previous reports. Focusing on school lunch menus and convenience store lunch boxes, the total nitrogen contents in these foods were calculated by dividing the protein contents referring to the Standard Tables of Foods Composition in Japan by the traditional N : P factors. The total nitrogen content multiplied by the novel N : P factor was equal to the novel protein content. The proportion of novel protein contents to the traditional protein contents was approximately 84%. On 11 school lunch menus, the equation between traditional protein contents and novel protein contents was the following : Novel protein contents=0. 878 × traditional protein contents–0. 937. The novel protein content of a convenience store lunch box could be estimated by this regression equation. The novel N : P factor, that is, the ratio of nitrogen contents to novel protein contents, for school lunch menus was 5. 16±0. 11 (mean±standard deviation). The N : P factors for two convenience store lunch boxes were 5. 15 and 5. 09. Therefore, the protein content of well-balanced meals should be calculated using the novel N : P factor of about 5. 2. The results indicated that the novel calculation method for N : P factors could be applied to not only individual foods, but also to diet menus containing various foods. We conclude that this calculation method should be practical and suitable for the evaluation of the N : P factors.
Aiming to study the relationships among junior high school students′ and their parents′ dietary lives, attitude toward prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, and health conditions, We conducted a questionnaire survey targeting junior high school students and their parents in Ibaraki prefecture. The items surveyed were their cooking skills, consciousness regarding foods, attitude toward prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, frequency of food intake, health conditions, and knowledge of foods and lifestyle-related diseases. First, we surveyed the relationships between the junior high school students and their parents as to the survey items. Next, we surveyed the relationship between the parents′ consciousness regarding foods and the students′ dietary life. The result of the survey revealed that the students′ and their parents′ cooking skills, consciousness regarding foods, attitude toward prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, frequency of food intake, health conditions, and knowledge of foods and lifestyle-related diseases were mutually related to one another. Also, it was indicated that the parents′ consciousness regarding foods affected their children′s dietary life and health conditions.
The effects of adding the eluate and paste of boiled black soybeans and konnyaku sol on the quality of black soybean jelly were studied to evaluate the potential use of the eluate and paste as a food ingredient. Compared to the control jelly (the eluate of black soybean jelly, Sample A), the jelly with up to 30% of the eluate replaced by the paste of boiled black soybeans (Sample D) had a light brown hue, harder physical property, lower syneresis, and more preferred flavor, taste and overall rating. The 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity and total polyphenol contents of Sample D were higher than those of Sample S (free of additives). The further addition of the konnyaku sol at 5% to Sample A-3 and Sample B-3 (In Sample B, with 10% of the eluate in Sample A replaced by the paste) made it harder in texture and lower in syneresis. The addition of the paste from boiled black soybeans or konnyaku sol was thus shown to improve the quality of the black soybean jelly.
We conducted a questionnaire survey on the dietary pattern and awareness of staple foods, main dishes and side dishes. The subjects were 284 elementary school students, 278 middle school students and 269 university students, and comparison was made between types of schools. (1) Those whose breakfast had “no supplementary dishes” comprised 30-40%. The ratio of students without breakfast was 2. 5-16.4%, and there was a tendency to not eat breakfast with the increase of age. (2) For dinner, more than 50% of middle school and university females said they had “mostly supplementary dishes”, and a tendency to eat less staple foods was shown. About 50% of males said they had “mostly main dishes”, and a tendency to place emphasis on main dishes was shown. (3) The degree of recognition and understanding of staple foods, main dishes and side dishes increased with the developmental stage. (4) As a well-balanced diet, about 50% in middle school and about 30% in university acknowledged that “staple foods and supplementary dishes should be eaten equally”, while about 30% were aware of “more side dishes than main dishes”. (5) Additionally, the students who were aware of both standards averaged about 12% in middle school and university, while whose dietary pattern for dinner fulfilled both averaged 4.3% in all types of schools. (6) Those conscious of combining staple foods, main dishes and side dishes were about 20% of both middle school and university students. (7) The need for dietary education regarding the amount of food consumption was suggested in all types of schools.
Recently, new types of ferrous fertilizers that release soluble Fe have been developed for use in Fe-sufficient soils. We applied ferrous chloride (FeCl2) to leaves of young eggplant (Solanum melongena) grown in Fe-sufficient soil. Foliar application of FeCl2 brought about an increase in the number of axillary shoots and fresh weight of whole shoot. Moreover, concentrations of Ca and Mn of leaves were increased though the treatment solution did not contain Ca or Mn. Foliar application of FeCl2 could increase not only Fe concentration but also Ca concentration in leaves of leaf vegetables.
In recent years the globalization of foods has advanced by progress of the media. A model for foods and health, which is called by Western countries the ‘Mediterranean style’ has been reported, and is also of interest in Japan. Most studies, however, have not focused relationship between the dietary habits of Greece and Greek annual events. Therefore we examined Easter of Greek Orthodox (Πáσχα), and the Greek food-culture, which is concerned with customs or events in a city and local provinces. As a result, the following was clear—in the city it seemed that the following of such customs faded through the people' s senses of value being diversified by change in their life style, while people living far from their home return and celebrate Easter, and offered barbecue and a variety ram meats, and followed the old customs in the provinces. Dietary habits are influenced by the climate and religion of each race. All the same, it was found that there were common points between the events of the Greek Orthodox Easter that was based on old agriculture rites and important Japanese events, such as Shogatsu or Bon.