• Kyodo News

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About 80 percent of Japanese working women who grow tired on the job eat confections, even though consumption of sweets actually spurs fatigue.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Chimeguri Kenkyukai (blood circulation study association), a group involved in promoting health education and awareness with the support of Kao Corp., a maker of detergents, cosmetics, health food and feminine and baby care products.

The group asked 1,000 women in their 20s to 40s if they became tired while working and learned that 77.7 percent did, particularly during the peak period between 4 and 5 p.m., and 28.3 percent of them said they felt “very tired” while 49.4 percent said they grew “tired.”

They reached for sweets — the snack most often found at the workplace — and ate them just for a change of pace.

Noting that nearly 80 percent of the women surveyed got tired in their daily lives, writer and psychiatrist Hiromi Okuda cited “communication fatigue” as a possible reason.

“Family members once were the only people to talk to at night,” she said. “Now, people constantly talk to one another by cell phone or other devices and stay in communication until the middle of the night. They remain tense, worrying about what others are thinking and appear to be chronically fatigued.”

Failure to eat a balanced diet also seems to contribute to tiredness.

Okuda said: “In recent years, quite a few people have started eating food rich in sugar and carbohydrates, such as sweet rolls and canned coffee. Therefore, their blood sugar levels fluctuate sharply. Their brain becomes tired, which makes them jittery. Confections just make them more tired.”

She said fatigue will not go away unless people consume sufficient amounts of protein, suggesting they eat meat, fish, eggs or tofu as a main dish at least twice a day.

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