A comparison of health and fitness-related variables in a small sample of children of Japanese descent on 2 continents

Arlette C. Perry, Tomoki Okuyama, Kijoji Tanaka, Joseph Signorile, Ted A. Kaplan, Xuewen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To compare physical characteristics, health and fitness-related variables, and nutrient intake between children of Japanese ancestry living in the United States and Japan. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Miami, Fla, and Tsukuba, Japan. Subjects: Fourteen children of Japanese descent living in the United States and 14 sex- and age-matched children living in Japan. Main Outcome Measures: US and Japanese resident groups were compared on physical characteristics, health and fitness-related variables, and nutrient intake using the t test for paired samples. To assess differences between groups in variables not statistically significant, effect sizes were calculated using the Cohen d test of standardized differences. Results: The following significant differences were found between US and Japanese resident groups, respectively: body mass index, 19.3 and 16.9, P=.02; percentage of body fat, 22.0% and 14.3%, P=.002; diastolic blood pressure, 65.8 and 58.9 mm Hg, P=.01; total cholesterol, 169.8 and 138.7 mg/dL (4.39 and 3.59 mmol/L, P=.001); lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol, 108.2 and 88.0 mg/dL (2.80 and 2.28 mmol/L, P=.01); triglycerides, 92.5 and 59.0 mg/dL (1.04 and 0.67 mmol/L, P=.02); percentage of fat intake, 26.1% and 20.3%, P=.001; percentage of saturated fat intake, 7.9% and 6.1%, P<.002; percentage of carbohydrate intake, 57.9% and 63.9% (P=.004); vertical jump, 28.9 and 34.4 cm, P=.02; and flexibility, 58.2 and 42.6 cm, P=.002. Using the Cohen d test, US residents showed a moderately greater systolic blood pressure (107.5 vs 101.9 mm Hg, P=.10) and leg strength (81.5 vs 55.8 kg, P=.11) than did Japanese residents. Conclusions: A small sample (n=14) of children of Japanese descent living in Florida showed more adverse health-related characteristics than did a comparable group of their peers living in Japan. The results are probably related to differences in their diets. It remains to be seen whether the differences in diets are related to where the children live.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume156
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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