[Dietary habits, attitudes toward weight control, and subjective symptoms of fatigue in young women in Japan]

Auteur(s) :
Osako M., Takayama T., Kira S.
Date :
Mai, 2005
Source(s) :
Adresse :
Kusatsu Health service station Home Appliance & Housing Electronics Company of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

Sommaire de l'article

PURPOSE: This paper describes dietary habits and attitudes toward body weight control of college women in Japan and examines their relationships with subjective symptoms of fatigue. We also discuss strategies to promote better diets among young adults.

METHODS: Self-reported questionnaires were distributed to 286 young women aged 18 to 25 years; 275 of these were analyzed.

RESULTS: The study found that more than half of the women were concerned about nutritional balance and calories. Yet thirty percent ate "a single-item meal (i.e., bread, rice bowl, noodles) two or more times a day," while roughly one half skipped breakfast "sometimes" or "always." A majority ate vegetables "almost never" and consumed instant foods, confectionery, or sugary drinks "almost daily." Subjective symptoms of fatigue were significantly correlated with a higher frequency of irregular meal-taking, single-item meals, between-meal snacking, missed breakfasts, non-vegetable diets, non-fruit diets, and instant foods and confectionery. About sixty percent of the women in the study considered their bodies to be "slightly fat or overweight" while 79.5% indicated a desire to "lose weight". On average, the participants' ideal BMI was 18.7 (+/- 1.2) while the ideal body weight was 47.2 (+/- 4.1) kg, approximately 4 kg under actual average body weight. Subjective symptoms of fatigue were stronger among women who considered themselves "slightly fat or overweight". Likewise, symptoms were stronger to the extent that a participant's ideal BMI was below her actual BMI.

CONCLUSION: Many women in this study desired to lose weight although they were not overweight by objective measures. The study suggests that subjective symptoms of fatigue are not the result of individual dietary habits, but rather of a lifestyle that reach to series of dietary habits connected to subjective symptoms of fatigue. The study also confirms the importance both of encouraging young women not just to eat well but to lead lifestyles in which they do not skip meals and of efforts that might help them to evaluate their own bodies more objectively.

[Article in Japanese]
Source : Pubmed