Differences in dietary habits, serum fatty acid compositions and other coronary risk characteristics between freshmen and fourth-year male university students
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- Kobayashi, T., Umemura, U., Iso, H. et al. Environ Health Prev Med (2001) 6: 143. doi:10.1007/BF02897961
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Westernization of lifestyles among Japanese, in particular among young generations, is a matter of concern for future increase in coronary heart disease. We surveyed a total of 349 male university students to examine changes in lifestyles and coronary risk factors in campus life. We compared dietary habits and serum fatty acid compositions as well as other coronary risk characteristics between freshmen (n=171) and fourth-year (senior) students (n=178). Serum fatty acid compositions and dietary intakes of selected foods as well as serum lipids, blood pressures and physical characteristics were examined at the 1996 and 1997 annual health examinations.
Compared to freshmen, senior students had a lower frequency of fish, vegetable, milk and egg intake, and a higher frequency of oil and fat intake. The proportions of serum saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids were significantly higher among senior students than among freshmen, whereas the proportion of serum polyunsaturated fatty acids was significantly lower among senior students than among freshmen. Senior students also had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, percent body fat, smoking rate and alcohol usage than freshmen. Mean body weight and mean body mass index were not different between the two groups.
Senior students generally showed Westernized dietary habits and higher coronary risk profiles than freshmen as indicated by the change of serum fatty acid compositions. Modification of these dietary habits and lifestyles may be important for the prevention of future CHD among Japanese young adults.