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Akitomo Yasunaga, Yukari Kawano, Yumiko Kamahori and Kyoko Noguchi

Background:

The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between the level of exercise behavior and individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.

Methods:

The participants were 2482 female Japanese undergraduate students. Participants’ level of exercise behavior was measured by the stage of change to exercise in the transtheoretical model. Individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior were assessed using body mass index, self-efficacy, social support, perceived positive and negative aspects of exercise, perceived neighborhood environment, attitude toward physical education lessons in childhood and puberty, and depression.

Results:

Scores for self-efficacy, social support, positive aspects of exercise, and perceived neighborhood environment were significantly higher among women who were more active compared with those who were inactive. On the other hand, scores for negative aspects of exercise and depression were greater among inactive women compared with those who were insufficiently active and/or active. In addition, past attitude toward exercise in primary school, junior high school, and high school was associated with current level of exercise behavior.

Conclusions:

This cross-sectional study confirmed that psychosocial and environmental factors were closely associated with level of exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.

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Yuki Kokubo, Yuri Yokoyama, Kumiko Kisara, Yoshiko Ohira, Ayaka Sunami, Takahiro Yoshizaki, Yuki Tada, Sakuko Ishizaki, Azumi Hida and Yukari Kawano

This cross-sectional study explored the prevalence of iron deficiency (ID) and associations between dietary factors and incidence of ID in female rhythmic gymnasts during preseason periods. Participants were 60 elite collegiate rhythmic gymnasts (18.1 ± 0.3 years [M ± SD]) who were recruited every August over the course of 8 years. Participants were divided into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of ID. Presence of ID was defined either by ferritin less than 12 µg/L or percentage of transferrin saturation less than 16%. Anthropometric and hematologic data, as well as dietary intake, which was estimated via a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, were compared. ID was noted in 48.3% of participants. No significant group-dependent differences were observed in physical characteristics, red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit, haptoglobin, or erythropoietin concentrations. The ID group had a significantly lower total iron-binding capacity; serum-free iron; percentage of transferrin saturation; ferritin; and intake of protein, fat, zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, beans, and eggs but not iron or vitamin C. The recommended dietary allowance for intake of protein, iron, zinc, and various vitamins was not met by 30%, 90%, 70%, and 22%–87% of all participants, respectively. Multiple logistic analysis showed that protein intake was significantly associated with the incidence of ID (odds ratio = 0.814, 95% confidence interval [0.669, 0.990], p = .039). Participants in the preseason’s weight-loss periods showed a tendency toward insufficient nutrient intake and were at a high risk for ID, particularly because of lower protein intake.

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Sakuko Ishizaki, Takako Koshimizu, Kae Yanagisawa, Yoshiko Akiyama, Yuko Mekada, Nobuhiro Shiozawa, Noriko Takahaski, Jun Yamakawa and Yukari Kawano

This study was to assess the effect of a fixed dietary intake on biomarkers of red blood cell (RBC) biosynthesis and degradation. Over a two-year period, eight collegiate rhythmic gymnasts participated in this study. During the first year, they ate self-selected diets. During the second year, a fixed dietary intake involving consumption of common Japanese foods containing 15 mg iron and 1500 kcal energy was maintained for 4 wk at the beginning of the program. Fixed dietary intakes resulted in significantly increased intakes of protein, minerals and vitamins, and significantly decreased fat intake, but total energy and carbohydrate intakes were unchanged. Mean values of RBC, Hb, Ht, or TIBC were not affected by the intervention. A fixed dietary intervention appeared to enhance RBC turnover by increasing the capacity for erythrocyte biosynthesis and degradation, although the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia remained unchanged.