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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 1997 Feb;23(1):91-6.

Dietary patterns amongst ethnic Chinese pregnant women in Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



To provide baseline data on the food consumption pattern of ethnic Chinese women in Hong Kong during pregnancy, in order to identify any risk of nutritional imbalance in this population.


One hundred and sixty-seven primagravid ethnic Chinese women attending the antenatal booking clinic at the Prince of Wales Hospital in the New Territories region were recruited. Among the study sample, subjects with less than 7 years of residence in Hong Kong were identified as recent immigrants (n = 25), while the remainder (n = 142) were classified as local. Half of the recent immigrants originated on the Chinese mainland and half from Indonesia. The eating patterns of the entire sample were compared with intake recommended in the Taiwan Food Guide. Comparisons were made between local and immigrant regarding age, educational standard and consumption of food from each food group.


The median intake of meat and meat substitutes was significantly higher than recommendation. There was no significant difference between actual and recommended intake of fruit but the consumption of dairy products, bread and cereals, and vegetables were all significantly below minimum recommendation.


The unfavorable dietary pattern reflected that many Chinese pregnant women are still not aware of dietary guidelines and the necessity of modifying their dietary practices in order to achieve the optimal maternal nutrition status. This lack of awareness is more prominently exhibited among the Asian Chinese immigrants.

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