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Westernization of Lifestyle Causes Obesity-Associated Metabolic Disorders in the Japanese Population

In recent years, the percentage of obese individuals has been rising in many countries, accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of obesity-associated metabolic disease, such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. We recently compared the medical survey data of each generation between two Japanese populations with different lifestyles, i.e., the group of native Japanese living in Hiroshima, Japan, and the group of Japanese-Americans (Japanese people who migrated to Hawaii or Los Angeles, USA, and their offspring), focusing on differences in nutrient intake and the prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. Japanese-Americans tended to consume a high-fat and high-simple carbohydrate diet, and had a higher prevalence of obesity-associated metabolic disease than native Japanese living in Japan. However, the detailed comparison among Japanese-Americans revealed that experience with the Japanese lifestyle during childhood suppressed the onset of obesity in later years.


Masayasu Yoneda, Haruya Ohno and Kenji Oki

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