Liggins Institute seminar: Japanese female university students’ perception of DOHaD Event as iCalendar

26 March 2014

3:30 - 4:30pm

Venue: Seminar Room 505-003, Building 505, 85 Park Road, Grafton

In Japan, the percentage of low-birth-weight newborns increased from 5.1% in 1980 to 9.6% in 2010, and 29.0% of women in their twenties were underweight (BMI, <18.5) in 2010. These data have raised concern that chronic adult diseases related to DOHaD may further increase in the near future. Thus, dissemination of the DOHaD concept among Japanese young females is an important issue. To determine the level of awareness among Japanese young women about the influence of early nutrition on lifelong health, we conducted a survey of Japanese female university students. A total of 865 students (aged from 18 to 22) from the departments of nutrition (329), childhood care (297), and human life studies (239) completed the questionnaire.

Overall, diet during infancy was rated as an extremely/very important influence on adult health by 57% of the students who responded, a percentage comparable to 59% for genetics/inheritance but lower than for other potential factors, such as diet and physical activity in childhood/adolescence (82%, 75%) and adulthood (66%, 74%), air pollution (70%), and exposure to cigarette smoke (94%). No statistically significant differences were found among the three departments with respect to the students’ levels of awareness of the effect of early nutrition on lifelong health. However, the nutrition group, who received DOHaD education from the second year and beyond, was distinct from the childhood care and human life studies groups in that their levels of awareness of the effect of early nutrition on lifelong health increased as the academic year advanced. In conclusion, our survey showed relatively low levels of awareness of DOHaD and suggests that nutrition education could help to raise public awareness of the effect of early nutrition on lifelong health. In my seminar, Japanese system of nutrition education such as “shokuiku” and “diet and nutrition teachers” will also be shown briefly.

Presented by: Dr Masahito Oyamada , Hokkaido University, Japan


For more information, please contact: Elise Donovan Email: e.donovan@auckland.ac.nz