In order to obtain basic data useful for improving the dietary habits, we investigated the relationship between decreased general taste sensitivity and the dietary habits as well as stress in young women, paying particular attention to appropriate taste sensitivity from a young age. In the taste sensitivity test, the thresholds for the tastes of sweetness, saltiness, acidity and bitterness were determined using a filter-paper disk diffusion method in the tongue tip region and soft palate region. In addition, a nutritional investigation based on a self-administered questionnaire “meal menu and intake time-based semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (MMITQ)”, measurement of salivary alpha amylase activity, and an evaluation using the STAI (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) questionnaire were carried out. The subjects were 84 of 249 students of a womenʼs junior college in Tokyo who had no chronic diseases and could participate in the re-examination at least 3 times during the investigation period of 8 days from June 2010 to July 2013 (average age, 19.3 ± 1.2 years). The results showed that as compared to that in the normal taste sensitivity group (60 subjects 71.4%), the percentage of subjects with the drinking habit and/or intake of dietary supplements was higher in the decreased taste sensitivity group (24 subjects, 28.6%) (p=0.034 and 0.041, respectively). The average intake of zinc was 7.7 mg in the decreased taste sensitivity group, which was significantly lower than the average intake of 8.5mg in the normal taste sensitivity group (p=0.041). On the other hand, the average intakes of magnesium and salt equivalent in the decreased taste sensitivity group were significantly higher than those in the normal taste sensitivity group (magnesium: p=0.048, salt equivalent: p=0.037). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the salivary alpha amylase activity, or in the characteristic/unstable state score. These results suggest that the tendency towards decreased taste sensitivity observed in young women may be related to habitual drinking and intake of dietary supplements, as well as to a poor daily intake of zinc and excessive intakes of magnesium and/or salt equivalent.
Objectives: To elucidate the patterns of contraceptive use in both married and unmarried women in Japan; and to examine which factors are associated with using no or unreliable contraceptives while adjusting for pregnancy intention. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the Biodemography Project conducted in Japan in 2014, we analyzed current contraceptive behavior and pregnancy intention among 1,746 (1,361 married and 385 unmarried; aged 20-44 years old) women with a male partner. Results: Sixty-four percent of married and 30% of unmarried women did not have current or future pregnancy intention, among whom only 39% and 47% respectively were using reliable contraceptives, i.e. consistent users of either condoms and/or oral contraceptives. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, future pregnancy intention (vs. current pregnancy intention) and university level education (vs. high school or less) were significantly associated with lower odds ratio of using unreliable/no contraception for both married and unmarried women. While having intention not to become pregnant was associated with significantly lower odds ratio of using no or unreliable contraceptives in married women, such association was not found in the unmarried. Among unmarried women older age was significantly associated with unreliable/no contraceptive use. Conclusions: Unreliable/no contraceptive use is common among both married and unmarried women in Japan even for those with no current pregnancy intention. Further research is needed to determine whether they are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy.
Objective: This study aims to investigate the factor influencing on constipation and health, and the effect of 7-day naturopathic activities on constipation and health. Methods: This uncontrolled intervention study evaluated the risk factors on constipation and health by multiple linear regression with five indices from 138 high school girls in Korea by a self-reporting survey conducted on November 2nd, 2008. Moreover after 7-day naturopathic activities for a week, it analyzed their effect on constipation and health by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and multiple linear regression on November 8th, 2008. Results: Lifestyle and stress significantly influenced constipation and health. The risk factors on constipation were daily water intake (p=0.010), favorite foods (p=0.011), exercise per day (p=0.008) and school stress (p=0.011). The risk factors on health were the frequency of snack per week (p=0.005), the volume of daily water intake (p=0.017), exercise per day (p=0.021), school stress (p=0.001) and home stress (p=0.001). 7-day naturopathic activities made significant decrease in constipation assessment scale (p=0.012), of which main effector was the volume of daily water intake (p=0.034). These activities made significant increase in health index (p=0.016), of which main effector was not in lifestyle index but might be in stress index. Meanwhile, they did not make significant fluctuation in defecation frequency per week and constipation self-awareness. Conclusion: These results propose that constipation and health were significantly influenced by lifestyle and stress, and that 7-day naturopathic activities directly had significant effect on constipation and might indirectly have effect on health through connecting with stress reduction. These findings suggest the applicability of naturopathy for constipation care and health promotion.