Central obesity and health-related factors among middle-aged men: A comparison among native Japanese and Japanese-Brazilians residing in Brazil and Japan

Andiara Schwingel, Yoshio Nakata, Lucy S. Ito, Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko, Christopher T. Erb, Ryosuke Shigematsu, Sueli M. Oba-Shinjo, Tomoaki Matsuo, Samuel K. Shinjo, Miyuki Uno, Suely K.N. Marie, Kiyoji Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of different cultural environments on the development of obesity by examining the association of central obesity, lifestyle, and selected coronary risk factors among people with identical Japanese genetic backgrounds living in Japan and Brazil. One hundred and four native Japanese and 286 Japanese-Brazilians residing in Brazil and Japan aged 35 years or over were studied. Obesity, metabolic risk factors for coronary disease, and history of regular sports activity, daily physical activity, and eating habits were assessed. The results showed Japanese-Brazilians residing in Brazil with significantly higher waist circumference values, and greater prevalence of central obesity compared to native Japanese and Japanese-Brazilians residing in Japan. The risk of developing central obesity was found to be 2.8 times higher among Japanese-Brazilians residing in Brazil. However, this association was no longer found to be significant after adjusting for lifestyle factors in the logistic model. Additionally, waist circumference was found to be significantly associated with metabolic risk factors for coronary disease. These findings suggest substantial variation in measures of central obesity among the three groups of Japanese ancestry, and underscore the heterogeneity of risk factors among communities of Japanese ancestry living in different cultural environments. The results also suggest that immigrant men exposed to the Brazilian cultural environment are more susceptible to the development of central obesity, and it seems to be associated with various lifestyle items and metabolic risk factors for coronary disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiological Anthropology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Central obesity
  • Coronary risk factor
  • Cultural environment
  • Immigration
  • Japanese-Brazilian
  • Lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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