Objectives: Appropriate lifestyle modifications through health guidance and other methods are known to be effective in preventing lifestyle-related diseases. Furthermore, early intervention is key. To examine the association between daily lifestyle and the risk of metabolic syndrome among young adults in Japan, we analyzed data from the Kobe City Young Adult Health Examination.
Methods: We examined 4,912 adults aged 30 to 39 years to identify the association between daily lifestyle and the risk of metabolic syndrome. Daily lifestyle was assessed from 11 lifestyle-related items in the questionnaire administered during the health exam. The Standard Health Exam and Guidance Program by the Ministry of Health and Labor was used to determine the risks of abdominal obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Having a risk related to metabolic syndrome was defined as having a risk of abdominal obesity combined with a risk of hypertension, diabetes, or hypercholesterolemia. We also evaluated the stages of behavioral change in those who possessed a risk of metabolic syndrome, as well as their willingness to receive health guidance.
Results: Eating quickly had a significantly greater association with-risk of metabolic syndrome, for both sexes, than eating slowly or at a normal pace. For women, smoking, skipping breakfast more than three days a week, and eating supper within two hours before going to bed for more than three days a week were associated with risk of metabolic syndrome. A multiple regression analysis showed that skipping breakfast (P < 0.01), eating quickly (P < 0.01), and having a late-night supper (P < 0.01) were independently associated with risk. Of those who did have a risk of metabolic syndrome, 11.7% were in the pre-contemplative/unaware stage of behavior change, and 54.8% were willing to receive health guidance.
Conclusion: Our study showed that among adults in their thirties in Kobe, irregular eating habits seemed to be associated with risk of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, their intention to/awareness of the need to change their behavior and their willingness to receive health guidance were rather strong. Thus, for the "Tokutei kenshin (specific national health checkup system)" to achieve its objective of preventing lifestyle-related diseases more effectively than at present, the target population of the Tokutei kenshin must be shifted to a more focused age group in their thirties.