An approach to prevent lifestyle-related diseases of children in collaboration with various organizations in Tokushima

Masako Sei, Tadanori Nakatsu, Ichiro Yokota, Yoshimi Tsuda, Hiroko Ishimoto, Hokuma Munakata, Yutaka Nakahori

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OBJECTIVE: To support the goal of "Lifetime health promotion from childhood", a Committee for Strategies to Prevent Lifestyle-related Diseases was established as part of the Tokushima Prefecture Medical Association in 2000. In this report, we present the activities of this committee, in collaboration with various organizations such as schools, a medical association, health administrators and universities. ACTIVITIES: In 2000, a physical survey was performed for all students in primary and junior high schools in Tokushima prefecture. Subsequently, a software program for determining the degree of obesity using the standard body weight of Tokushima children was produced. In 2001, the committee conducted a survey concerning measures taken against lifestyle-related diseases by each organization. In 2003, a "Health management system for obesity in children" and a "School urine examination system" were established to identify high-risk students who should be taken to consult primary physicians. These medical intervention systems have allowed continuous calculation of real numbers and actual status of problems with overweight and obese children. Moreover, we performed lifestyle habit surveys among about 3000 students and produced manuals for population-based approaches. RESULTS: Compared with nationwide values, there was no difference in height, but the weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) of Tokushima students were larger. The survey concerning measures against lifestyle-related diseases clarified the present status of school health committees, staffing available to provide individual/nutritional guidance and the execution rate of collaborative projects in each organization. The intervention systems for visits to primary physicians have continued to show almost constant consultation rates. Approximately 80% of severely obese children had at least one medical problem. The lifestyle habits survey did not identify any marked differences in children of Tokushima Prefecture compared with nationwide values, except for a slightly earlier waking-up time. However, this survey demonstrated differences in lifestyle habits according to the body physique, and a relationship between eating meals with the family and other lifestyle habits. The numbers of overweight and severely obese children in Tokushima have been decreasing since the peaks of 2001 and 2002. CONCLUSIONS: Activities to prevent lifestyle-related diseases from childhood have continued in collaboration with various organizations in Tokushima. The prefecture-wide physical surveys and high-risk intervention strategies might have had good social effects in Tokushima. As a result, the number of obese children may be decreasing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
Journal[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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