Prevalence and characterization of supplement use among healthy children and adolescents in an urban Japanese city


Although there are numerous studies on the use of supplements in children and adolescents from western countries, only a small number of studies have been conducted in Asian countries. This study was planned to determine the use of supplements and their association with lifestyles in healthy Japanese children and adolescents. This is a community-based cross-sectional study conducted in a Japanese urban city, Nara, in 2008. A total of 681 children and adolescents aged between 3 and 17 years were enrolled. The parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on the use of supplements among their children. Demographic information, health and nutrition status of children as perceived by parents, sleep duration, and a family history of supplement use were also collected. A total of 20.4% of children and adolescents are presently using (in the past one month) or have used (in the past one year excluding the past one month) supplements. The types of supplements most commonly used were minerals, followed by vitamins and blueberry extracts. Univariate analysis indicated that supplement use was associated with older age, poor perception of health status, shorter sleep duration, and a positive family history of supplement use. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that age and a positive family history affected supplement use. Given the ap-proximately 20% of prevalence of supplement use in Japanese children and adolescents, there is a need for further research to examine the supplements’ effectiveness and safety.

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Mori, N. , Kubota, M. , Hamada, S. and Nagai, A. (2011) Prevalence and characterization of supplement use among healthy children and adolescents in an urban Japanese city. Health, 3, 135-140. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.33025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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