Nutrients 2013, 5(8), 2933-2954; doi:10.3390/nu5082933
Article

Dietary Intake and Food Habits of Pregnant Women Residing in Urban and Rural Areas of Deyang City, Sichuan Province, China

1 Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture, Gender and Nutrition (430b), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 30, Stuttgart 70599, Germany 2 Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition (140a), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 30, Stuttgart 70599, Germany 3 Medical Society of Deyang City, Sichuan, Public Health Bureau of Deyang, Lushan Nan Road No.299, Jingyang District of Deyang City, Deyang 618000, China 4 Europäisches Institut für Stillen und Laktation, Wittberg 14, Kramsach 6233, Austria 5 Department of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition, David B Falk College, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 March 2013; in revised form: 31 May 2013 / Accepted: 1 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Nutrition)
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Abstract: Micronutrient deficiencies and imbalanced dietary intake tend to occur during the reproductive period among women in China. In accordance with traditional Chinese culture, pregnant women are commonly advised to follow a specific set of dietary precautions. The purpose of this study was to assess dietary intake data and identify risk factors for nutritional inadequacy in pregnant women from urban and rural areas of Deyang region, Sichuan province of China. Cross-sectional sampling was applied in two urban hospitals and five rural clinics (randomly selected) in Deyang region. Between July and October 2010, a total of 203 pregnant women in the third trimester, aged 19–42 years, were recruited on the basis of informed consent during antenatal clinic sessions. Semi-structured interviews on background information and 24-h dietary recalls were conducted. On the basis of self-reported height and pre-pregnancy weight, 68.7% of the women had a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) within the normal range (18.5 ≤ BMI < 25), 26.3% were found to be underweight with a BMI <18.5 (20.8% in urban vs. 35.6% in rural areas), while only 5.1% were overweight with a BMI ≥30. In view of acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDRs) the women’s overall dietary energy originated excessively from fat (39%), was low in carbohydrates (49.6%), and reached the lower limits for protein (12.1%). Compared to rural areas, women living in urban areas had significantly higher reference nutrient intake (RNI) fulfillment levels for energy (106.1% vs. 93.4%), fat (146.6% vs. 119.7%), protein (86.9% vs. 71.6%), vitamin A (94.3% vs. 65.2%), Zn (70.9% vs. 61.8%), Fe (56.3% vs. 48%), Ca (55.1% vs. 41%) and riboflavin (74.7% vs. 60%). The likelihood of pregnant women following traditional food recommendations, such as avoiding rabbit meat, beef and lamb, was higher in rural (80%) than in urban (65.1%) areas. In conclusion, culturally sensitive nutrition education sessions are necessary for both urban and rural women. The prevalence of underweight before conception and an insufficient supply of important micronutrients were more pronounced in rural areas. Therefore, attention must be given to the nutritional status, especially of rural women before, or at the latest, during pregnancy.
Keywords: food habits; 24-h dietary recall; pregnancy; urban; rural; China

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gao, H.; Stiller, C.K.; Scherbaum, V.; Biesalski, H.K.; Wang, Q.; Hormann, E.; Bellows, A.C. Dietary Intake and Food Habits of Pregnant Women Residing in Urban and Rural Areas of Deyang City, Sichuan Province, China. Nutrients 2013, 5, 2933-2954.

AMA Style

Gao H, Stiller CK, Scherbaum V, Biesalski HK, Wang Q, Hormann E, Bellows AC. Dietary Intake and Food Habits of Pregnant Women Residing in Urban and Rural Areas of Deyang City, Sichuan Province, China. Nutrients. 2013; 5(8):2933-2954.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gao, Haoyue; Stiller, Caroline K.; Scherbaum, Veronika; Biesalski, Hans K.; Wang, Qi; Hormann, Elizabeth; Bellows, Anne C. 2013. "Dietary Intake and Food Habits of Pregnant Women Residing in Urban and Rural Areas of Deyang City, Sichuan Province, China." Nutrients 5, no. 8: 2933-2954.

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