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J Epidemiol. 2013 Sep 5;23(5):376-81. Epub 2013 Aug 10.

Relationship of living conditions with dietary patterns among survivors of the great East Japan earthquake.

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Center for International Collaboration and Partnership, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan.



During the year after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the health conditions and lifestyles of survivors were extensively surveyed. We examined the relationship between living conditions and dietary pattern among survivors.


A total of 10 466 survivors aged 18 years or older (25% of the population of that age in the area) participated in a survey of Iwate Prefecture. The average frequency of daily consumption of 8 food groups was determined by questionnaire. After excluding staple foods, which were consumed 3 times a day by 85% of participants, factor analysis was performed on 7 food groups among 9789 people (3795 men, 5994 women).


Factor analysis identified 2 dietary patterns-prudent and meat. The prudent dietary pattern is characterized by high intakes of fish and shellfish, soybean products, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products and was more evident among older participants and women. The meat dietary pattern is characterized by high intakes of meat and eggs and was more evident among younger participants and men. Age-adjusted multiple logistic regression analyses showed that male and female current smokers and men and women living in difficult conditions were likely to have a lower prudent dietary pattern score; male current smokers and male daily alcohol drinkers were likely to have a higher meat dietary pattern score.


During the year after the earthquake, the prudent dietary pattern was associated with better living conditions among survivors, whereas the meat dietary pattern was not.

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