Do older Chinese people's diets meet the Chinese Food Pagoda guidelines? Results from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2009

Xiaoyue Xu, John Hall, Julie Byles, Zumin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To evaluate dietary intake based on the Chinese Food Pagoda (CFP) and to determine what factors may be associated with adherence to CFP guidelines for older Chinese. Design This cross-sectional population-based study used 24 h recall over three consecutive days to assess dietary intake and adherence to CFP among older Chinese participating in the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2009. Setting Nine provinces across four diverse regions (Northeast, East Coast, Central and West). Subjects A total of 2745 older Chinese, aged 60-69 years (n 1563) and ≥70 years (n 1182), with dietary data. Results None of the participants reached all ten food group recommendations. More than half of the participants exceeded the recommended amount for grains (63 %), oil (62·8 %) and salt (55·7 %). Ten per cent of the participants consumed dairy, while merely 0·5 % met the recommended amount. Average Chinese Food Pagoda Score (CFPS) was 3·3 in men and 3·5 in women, far below the maximum possible score of 10. Women had 0·26 higher CFPS than men (P<0·001; 95 % CI 0·16, 0·36). People living in medium and high urbanicity areas had significantly higher scores than those living in low urbanicity areas (P<0·001). Also, there were significant differences in CFPS according to gender, BMI, work status, education level and region. Conclusions Few older Chinese are meeting the intake of the various food groups based on the recommendations in the CFP guidelines, thus increasing the risk of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. Action is needed to increase dissemination and uptake of nutrition education, with interventions targeted at socio-economic regions. Moreover, specific dietary guidelines for older Chinese people should be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3020-3030
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 30 Jul 2015


  • Chinese Food Pagoda
  • Older people
  • Socio-economic regions
  • Urbanicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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