Over the past 4 decades, China has experienced a nutritional transition and has developed the largest population of internet users. In this study, we evaluated the impacts of internet access on the nutritional intake in Chinese rural residents. An IV-Probit-based propensity score matching method was used to determine the impact of internet access on nutritional intake. The data were collected from 10,042 rural households in six Chinese provinces. The results reveal that rural residents with internet access have significantly higher energy, protein, and fat intake than those without. Chinese rural residents with internet access consumed 1.35% (28.62 kcal), 5.02% (2.61 g), and 4.33% (3.30 g) more energy, protein, and fat, respectively. There was heterogeneity in regard to the intake of energy, protein, and fat among those in different income groups. Moreover, non-staple food consumption is the main channel through which internet access affects nutritional intake. The results demonstrate that the local population uses the internet to improve their nutritional status. Further studies are required to investigate the impact of internet use on food consumed away from home and micronutrient intake.
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