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Chiyoda-ku, Japan

Watanabe E.,University of Tokyo | Lee J.S.,University of Tokyo | Kawakubo K.,Kyoritsu Womens University
International Journal of Obesity

Backgrounds:Maternal employment has been shown to be associated with childhood overweight and obesity (Ow/Ob), but the presence of family members who care for children in place of the mothers might influence children's Ow/Ob and lifestyles. The influence of maternal employment on children's Ow/Ob should be examined together with the presence of caregivers such as grandparents. Objectives:The effects of maternal employment and the presence of grandparents on lifestyles and Ow/Ob in Japanese pre-school children were investigated.Design/Subjects:Cross-sectional study on 2114 children aged 3-6 years who attended all childcare facilities in a city and primary caregivers was conducted.Measurements:Children's weight and height, family environments (family members, maternal employment, single parent, number of siblings and parental Ow/Ob) and lifestyles (dietary, physical activity and sleeping habits) were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire. Ow/Ob was defined by the International Obesity Task Force cut-offs.Results:The eligible participants were 1765 children. The prevalence of Ow/Ob was 8.4% in boys and 9.9% in girls. Maternal employment was associated positively with irregular mealtimes, unfixed snacking times, bedtime after 10 p.m. and nighttime sleep duration of less than 10 h, whereas three-generation families were associated negatively with irregular mealtimes after adjustment for children's characteristics and family environments. Irregular mealtimes (OR (95% CI); 2.03 (1.36, 3.06)) and nighttime sleep duration of less than 10 h (1.96 (1.28, 3.01)) were associated with increased risks of being Ow/Ob. Both maternal employment and three-generation families were significantly associated with children's Ow/Ob. However, three-generation families maintained a significant association (1.59 (1.08, 2.35)) after adjustment for maternal employment.Conclusions:These study results suggest that the grandparents who care for pre-school children in place of mothers are more likely to contribute to childhood Ow/Ob than maternal employment. The family-focused lifestyle strategies to prevent childhood Ow/Ob must include grandparents who care for children. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Lee J.S.,University of Tokyo | Kawakubo K.,Kyoritsu Womens University | Mori K.,University of Tokyo | Akabayashi A.,University of Tokyo
Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis

Aim: The purpose of the study was to determine the sensitive cutoff values of waist circumference (WC) in relation to the body mass index (BMI) for detecting the clustering of cardiovascular risk factors (CCRF) in Japanese men and women. Methods: The study population included 2,476 male and female residents who participated in a ward health examination in Tokyo, Japan. The CCRF were defined according to the Japanese Committee of the Criteria for Metabolic Syndrome. Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis was conducted within each BMI category. Results: The percentage of study participants in the normal BMI category was around 70% for both men and women. The sensitive cutoff values for the largest WC with at least 80% sensitivity were 81 cm for normal and 89 cm for overweight men. The corresponding values for women were 79 cm and 86 cm, respectively. The WC with maximized sensitivity plus specificity was 80 cm for normal and 89 cm for overweight men, and the sensitivity was 88.7% and 83.0%, respectively. The corresponding values for women were 78 and 94 cm, respectively, and the sensitivity was 91.5% and 57.6%, respectively. Conclusions: For the early detection and management of clusters of cardiovascular risk factors, we concluded that a BMI-specific WC cutoff value of 80 cm for normal weight in both men and women and 89 cm for overweight men and 86 cm for overweight women should be discriminate cutoff values. Source

Yamaguchi Y.,Kyoritsu Womens Junior College | Seii E.,Kyoritsu Womens Junior College | Itagaki M.,Showagakuin Junior College | Nagayama M.,Kyoritsu Womens University
International Journal of Consumer Studies

Changing lifestyles and family structures have changed consumer domestic washing behaviour in our country, with growing use of washer-dryers and changing detergent preferences, including use of concentrated detergents. In particular, there has also been an increase in the number of combined washer-dryers, which both save space and reduce the housework burden. However, power consumption for drying is extremely high compared to that for washing. This study reveals the drying performance of sweat-absorbent, quick-drying clothing in domestic washing, and uses the life cycle assessment method to evaluate washing and drying with heat-pump washer-dryers compared with the conventional washer-dryer. In this study, it was assumed that drying was used on 99 days per year, based on the mean number of 99 days per year with rainfall in Tokyo. Both types of washer-dryer showed high CO 2eq emission levels for usage, with the highest levels for power consumption during drying. Compared with the conventional washer-dryer, the heat-pump washer-dryer was able to reduce CO 2eq emissions significantly through power savings and used less water as well, although it did require the use of larger amounts of detergent. However, the largest portion of CO 2eq emissions was attributable to the drying process, and the use of sweat-absorbent, quick-drying clothing enabled these emissions to be reduced by approximately 10%. The residual moisture content of clothing after washing and spin-drying, which significantly affects the amount of CO 2eq emissions generated at the drying stage, depended on spin-drying times and the proportion of polyester fibres in the clothing. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Kanai M.,Kyoritsu Womens University
Journal of the Japan Research Association for Textile End-Uses

This study investigates how the sense of the seasons is expressed through the fashion of female university students and their mothers. There were many differences found in the perceptions between the students and their mothers regarding fashion, the seasons, and the degree to which each celebrated or annual events. Amongst both the female students and their mothers, many participants wear clothes that reflect an awareness of the seasons. However, there are differences in the way this expression is made between the two groups, which can be considered as a generation gap. Additionally, the relationship between the seasonal fashions and the degree of observation of the Japanese traditional holidays and annual events is investigated. By comparing the respondents with a high degree of involvement in holidays and annual events to those with a low degree, it was confirmed that those with a higher degree tend to not only perceive seasonal clothes as stylish and fashionable, but also place value on the practicality of clothes that match the season. Source

Nishinari K.,Osaka City University | Kohyama K.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Kumagai H.,Kyoritsu Womens University | Funami T.,San Ei Gen F.F.I. Inc. | Bourne M.C.,Cornell University
Food Science and Technology Research

Although Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) is useful for most solid foods, the misuse of TPA parameters for liquid foods has led to misunderstandings and confusion. Here, we warn of the risk of misuse of TPA parameters for liquid foods. Source

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