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Cross-sectional analysis of food consumption and dietary habits of Chinese residing in Urban Cities

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Author: 
Abdelhadi Halawa, Zheng Ma and Shao-wei Ai
Abstract: 

Background: Dietary habits and food consumption of Chinese are influenced by urbanization, sociodemographic factors, religious dietary restrictions, and belief in the medicinal values of food. Since the 1980s, China has experienced the largest rural-to-urban migration in its history. Urban lifestyle and dietary habits may be contributing to increasing the risk factors for noninfectious diseases. Objective: This study was designed to examine the differences in dietary habits, food consumption patterns, and related health practices of Chinese adults residing in four urban cities to identify certain dietary behaviors that could potentially be linked to the risk of diet-related diseases. Methods: A 23-question self-administered questionnaire was employed to collect data on sociodemographic indicators, eight dietary habits, food consumption patterns, and related health behaviors from 662 adult male and female respondents. A t-test was conducted to analyze the parametric variables and Chi-square analyses were performed for the nonparametric variables. Results: Among the residents of the four cities, Jinan had a significantly higher daily frequency of breakfast consumption; Zhengzhou and Jinan had a higher daily frequency of baking food than frying it; Kaifeng had a higher daily frequency of water intake vs. all other beverages; Xi'an had a higher daily frequency of fresh fruit shopping; both Kaifeng and Jinan had a significantly higher frequency of consuming three or more full meals each day; by a narrow margin, all four cities reported consuming their last meal of the day between 17:00-24 PM; married couples had a significantly higher daily frequency of breakfast consumption than singles, while singles had a significantly higher level of college education than married couples. The results draw attention to the effect of sociodemographic indicators on food consumption patterns and dietary habits. Conclusions: A myriad of common health problems in China are linked to poor dietary habits and food preparation choices. Further research-based evidence examining the role of dietary habits and food consumption in preventing diet-related diseases is vital. Meanwhile, there is a need to develop short-term and long-term strategies aimed at further improving the dietary health practices and food consumption patterns of Chinese residing in urban areas.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

 

               Prof. Dr. ISMAIL YILDIRIM

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