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Keywords

socio-economic change, Japanese culture, myofunctional disorders, early childhood feeding/swallowing, eating habits

Abstract

This article summarizes issues related to myofunctional disorders/dysphagia and focuses upon social and economic changes within Japanese culture affecting eating habits and behaviors in children. The authors suggest that unfavorable environmental factors negatively impact upon the acquisition of mastication and swallowing behaviors. The article includes discussion of prior research. Studies indicate that decreased observation of early childhood eating habits, dietary changes with regard to higher consumption of fast food and changes within the family, i.e. busy work schedules, decrease in family mealtimes, combine to incur negative change with regard to orofacial function.

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