: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Study links convenience stores to unhealthy lifestyle for youngsters

Date Posted: 2005-09-29

Okinawa’s claim to long life for its citizens is being underminded by junk foods peddled by convenience stores.

That’s the finding by a Saitema Prefecture University team that says convenience stores that have permeated ever Japanese neighborhood are transforming healthy youngsters into walking fat people with the heavy emphasis on candies and snack foods. The June 2005 study spanned Japan, including Tomishiro Town, Nagano-Nakano City, and Aomori Prefecture. It studied not only the products and effects convenience schools had on lifestyles, but also interviewed hundreds of junior high school students to elicit their opinions.

The bottom line, from an Okinawa perspective at least, is that the lifestyle and eating habit changes threaten the Ryukyus’ long record as the longest living people in the country, and in much of the world. The Saitema professors teamed to delve into a wide range of issues, and with plenty of people.

Tomishiro City’s students say they eat fast foods at least 2-3 times weekly, while students in other prefectures did less. The Okinawa figure was 58% compared to a national average of 41%. A full 37% of local youngsters say they eat convenience foods, and that “we have confidence we’ll live to be 100 years old.” The young teens didn’t appear threatened by the weight gains or health detractors caused by snack foods and candies. They steadfastly insisted “we’ll live to be over 85, just like our grandparents.”

Despite medical claims junk foods are unhealthy, and the youthful positive attitudes toward eating them, the kids did admit to some problems. More than one-third of those surveyed admitted to having stomach problems after high calory, high sugar, high carbohydrate snack foods. It was even worse with youngsters in other prefectures, where abdominal aches and stomach aches soared to more than 53%. Headaches were listed as common by teens in other areas, while Okinawa youngsters said “no, we don’t have headaches or dizziness.”

Saitema University officials who worked the project say the problems are real, and are compounded with other factors in today’s youngsters’ fast-paced lives. Okinawan kids say they sleep well, at least seven hours each night, a figure well above other prefectures. Okinawan students, the surveying professors say, also claimed to study more than those in other prefectures.
Okinawan youth are emulating their parents in the changing decade, say professors, following parental lead in changes in family practices and meals, exercise and more. And that, say professors, is leading to fatter adults as well as heavier, out of shape teens. On average, Okinawa teens are five kilograms heavier than their mainland counterparts.

Nagano Prefecture is rapidly moving to claim the top spot for longevity in Japan, the Saitema team says, with Okinawan men slipping down to 27th. They insist it’s a matter of healthy life style, and not only eliminating convenience store junk foods from the diet. It’s an overall pattern of change that is needed, they say. It encompasses family, diet, exercise and more. The big thing, the entire team emphasized, is that parents and society are not taking their childrens’ lives and health seriously. They say soon it will be too late to save the kids.

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker