Background: The study aims to establish a cooperative system for relevant organizations, including initiating a training course for high school students using active learning methods in relation to supporting individuals with dementia and evaluating changes in students’ understanding and awareness regarding dementia.
Method: From October to November 2018, the study implemented a course over three sessions for 29 first-year students at participating high schools using active learning methods to provide training vis-à-vis supporting individuals with dementia. A questionnaire survey with free description was implemented after the first and third sessions. The analysis targeted the 25 respondents to both surveys. A paired t-test was performed.
Results: Relevant members from each institution were requested to attend the course, then a cooperative system was constructed to implement the training course based on active learning methods. In the free description survey’s results, “gentle” was used in 10 sentences as a meaningful word signifying changes in attitudes and awareness. In the questionnaire survey, a significant difference in scores before and after the course regarding anxiety and resistance relating to coming into contact with dementia (P=0.003) and voluntary interaction (P=0.001) was observed.
Conclusion: Daily collaboration with the relevant parties at institutions is necessary to promote this project. Furthermore, the findings imply that the training course using active learning methods deepened the students’ knowledge about dementia, which was linked to a reduction in anxiety and resistance and a more positive attitude toward dementia among the participants.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to conduct evaluate a health education program to raise awareness of preconception care (PCC) for female workers of reproductive age.
Methods: 84 female workers aged 20 years to 35 years living in the Kinki and Tokyo metropolitan areas were participated. We conducted an intervention which consisted of “small-group health education seminars,” “group discussions,” and “feedback comments” using leaflets. Primary outcome indicators were knowledge of PCC, awareness and behavior related to PCC, and “food intake frequency survey.” Surveys were implemented before and at the end of the seminar and three months after the seminar. Statistical analyses were performed using Cochran’s Q test for knowledge of PCC, McNemar’s test for awareness and behavior related to PCC, and the paired t-test for the “food intake frequency survey.”
Results: Seventy-five participants (89%) were included in the analysis. The proportion of participants with knowledge of PCC was increased at the end of the seminar compared with before the seminar (P=0.020), and the knowledge level was maintained even three months later. The items that increased the proportion of participants who had awareness and behavior related to PCC after 3 months were actively eating foods containing folic acid (P=0.038) and self-screening for breast cancer (P=0.001).
Conclusion: This health education program was effective for establishing PCC knowledge at 3 months after the seminar and increasing the self-screening rate for breast cancer. For other behaviors related to PCC, we concluded that it is necessary to review the contents of the program.
Although physical activity has many recognized health benefits, the number of inactive persons is increasing worldwide. At the World Health Assembly in May 2018, a resolution to tackle the widespread problem of physical inactivity was made, and in June of the same year, the World Health Organization announced its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 (GAPPA). To reduce physical inactivity and create a healthy and sustainable world, GAPPA set out the following four strategic objectives: “create active societies,” “create active environments,” “create active people,” and “create active systems.” These objectives are achievable through 20 policy actions, each comprising 4–6 items. These strategic objectives and policy actions do not function independently, but are interrelated and can generate co-benefits for one another through a systems-based approach, achieved through the cooperation of each field. Outcomes relate not only to health but also to many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We share these aims when envisioning a long-term Olympic legacy. In the future, it will be necessary for stakeholders to gather at each level, deeply understand GAPPA objectives, and devise an appropriate system plan for execution, reevaluation, sharing, and scaling-up.
Previous European and US studies of the health of Olympians have published that Olympians tend to have lower incidence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease and have a longer longevity than the general population. In Japan, athletes participating in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics are being followed as a cohort study. These data are being analyzed as a project entitled “Summary of Tokyo Olympics Physical Fitness Measurement.” In addition, studies of Japanese athletes other than the Olympians also reported that those who experienced sports during adolescence had a lower incidence of non-communicable diseases and longer longevity. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, more adolescence will enjoy sports regularly, and the health of people around the world is expected to improve further.
The Olympic Games represent an important opportunity to promote physical activity at the population level, by creating a “physical activity legacy” in the host nations. However, previous studies failed to demonstrate an increase in physical activity or sports participation among representative samples of adults or children after the Games in Australia (Sydney 2000), Canada (Vancouver 2010), and the United Kingdom (London 2012). The promotion of physical activity at a large scale is a challenging issue, and long-term strategic planning and an evaluation framework are essential to achieve it. It is necessary to ensure that “Sport for All” and the philosophy of the Olympic Charter, stating that “every individual must have the possibility for practicing sport,” are not limited to elite athletes. This paper summarizes the measures considered necessary to increase population-level physical activity and sports participation in Japan and the world, through the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and subsequent Games. These measures are categorized as objectives, strategic promotion, evaluation, and succession.
A scenario consisting of oral diseases or tooth loss, which leads to a deterioration in oral function and adversely affects nutrient intake and the general health has long been advocated. Nutrition and diet have been considered as one of the main pathways that correlate oral health to general health, and recent evidence supports this scenario. A healthy diet, which can reduce the risks of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), frailty, and dementia, is the key to healthy longevity. The promotion of oral health and maintenance of oral functions promote a healthy diet and aid in the prevention of various diseases, including NCDs, thereby extending healthy life expectancy. Furthermore, the association between oral health and nutrition has been reported to be bidirectional. Increasing evidence suggests that poor oral function inhibits the consumption of a healthy diet. An unhealthy diet and malnutrition are the risk factors for oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease. Moreover, it has been reported that the nutritional status is only slightly improved after dental prosthesis treatment alone; nutrition counseling accompanied by behavioral changes is necessary for a healthy dietary intake and nutritional status improvement.
Overall, the available evidence suggests the importance for dental professionals to have sufficient knowledge about nutrition and to collaborate with dieticians when required. Additional interdisciplinary studies on dentistry and nutrition along with an advancement of pregraduate and postgraduate studies on nutritional education among dentists and dental hygienists are required in the future.
The present study investigated the relationship between diet and mastication from the perspective of the physical properties of foods.
Masticatory function changes with life stage; however, inadequate eating experience during early childhood; tooth loss; and decreased tongue, lip, or other oral function result in decreased or delayed development of masticatory function. These consequences are associated with decreased nutrient intake, dietary imbalance, and other issues. Both the nutritional and physical properties of food must be considered when assessing dietary intake. The authors proposed a “chewiness” index as a marker of the physical properties of foods and evaluated food items from the perspective of the amount of masticatory action involved in consumption. Based on the findings, consideration for mastication has been incorporated into dietary assessment. Frailty research by Iijima et al. demonstrated an association between sarcopenia and the physical properties of chewable foods. Based on the results of related studies, foods with high chewiness were added to the “Eleven Check” frailty prevention self-assessment sheet.
Previous studies regarding frailty prevention and the ideal physical properties of baby and infant food for mastication function development have demonstrated the benefit of cooperation between dentistry and nutrition and cookery science. Future research and working cooperation between these fields will hopefully lead to increases in healthy lifespan.
This study explored strategies for collaboration between the fields of oral health and dietary science from a life course perspective. Specifically, 1) final outcomes following a life course approach, 2) settings for collaboration at each stage of the course, and 3) screening and assessment items were considered. “Extending healthy life expectancy” and “reducing qualitative differences” are both goals of the Health Japan 21 initiative and shared outcomes of the fields of dentistry and dietary science. There are settings for collaboration between these two fields at each stage of the course. In infancy and early childhood, dietary education aiming to teach oral functions and prevent dental caries, is carried out at schools or community health centers. In adulthood, initiatives to combat lifestyle disease and metabolic syndrome alongside guidance on healthy living, are implemented during specific health checkups and at community health centers. In older adulthood, these fields collaborate in preventing long-term care at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other specified facilities. There are also cases in which dieticians and registered dieticians at dental clinics offer health-related instructions on topics concerning dentistry. Both the fields are involved in preventing non-communicable disease and frailty. Collaboration between professionals in these fields, where they share evaluation indicators and outcomes, as well as combine “dental treatment to improve chewing ability” and “dietary support to encourage thorough chewing of food while eating,” will contribute in achieving the above-mentioned outcomes in Japan.
Japan is becoming a super-aging society at a speed unprecedented in human history, and it is projected that the percentage of the country’s elderly population will continue to rise. This is exerting pressure on Japan’s social security system. Improving the social environment at the same time as mitigating the threats to the health of the elderly and increasing the number of healthy senior citizens are major challenges that must be tackled in order to address this situation. Until recently, improving the health of the elderly has tended to focus on restoring their functions. It is important to verify the efficacy of programs to improve the functions of small groups, and this will play an important role in the future. On the other hand, evidence has been reported in Japan that individual efforts alone do not determine people’s health. Examples of this include the health gap, in which the higher a person’s income and educational level, the better their health, and also the impact of childhood environments on the health of the elderly. For such reasons, it is vital to also consider social environment factors that promote better health. In addition, to develop health improvement programs that can be implemented in the field, it will be essential to accumulate scientific evidence on the usefulness and efficacy of health-improvement programs for larger groups.
In April 2020, the Revised Health Promotion Act and the Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance to Prevent Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke were enacted. However, due to an exemption from the law based on the seating capacity of an establishment, 20–50% of restaurants and bars will be able to avoid the non-smoking regulations. In this special report, we introduce the activities of “Quemlin—a group endorsing non-smoking restaurants and bars—” to promote the prevention of second-hand smoking in restaurants and bars. The group was recently awarded the “8th Smart Life Project Award (Let’s extend healthy life expectancy)” by the Head of Health Service Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Quemlin runs a website, developed before the revised act, to recommend good non-smoking restaurants and bars. It is managed by public health researchers and supported by volunteer reporters from the general public. At the end of March 2020, approximately 200 reporters from the general public had registered about 850 restaurants and bars on the website. Quemlin aims to share the experience of restaurants and bars which have changed to non-smoking on the website, in order to encourage businesses which currently allow smoking to change to non-smoking. For example, we share information such as motivation to change to non-smoking, changes in sales before/after non-smoking, benefits of non-smoking and how to cater for smokers. In Bunkyo ward, locally-based Quemlin has started community participatory collaborative activities. We have implemented community participatory health promotion activities through collaboration with the Division of Environmental Health in the Public Health Center, other public sector divisions, several related organisations, local residents and companies. In the future, we expect to expand our operation to other local communities and develop our activities further.