Document Type



The secular trend of body shape in Japanese females, as shown by the body build index, weight divided by stature squared, is studied in national data of the School Health Survey and the National Nourishment Survey. In young adult females of the late teens and twenties, the index decreased from the 1950s through the early 1980s. However, such a phenomenon is not clear in females in their thirties, and in women in their forties, fifties and sixties the index tended to increase until about 1970/74. The reason why younger adult females are becoming slimmer in Japan, is discussed.