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Does social class affect nutrition knowledge and food preferences among Chinese urban adults?

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  • Céline BONNEFOND
  • Matthieu CLEMENT

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyse the influence of social class on nutrition knowledge and food preferences among Chinese urban adults with an emphasis on the middle class. The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey for 2009. First, we propose a multidimensional definition of social class that combines income, occupation and education to highlight the heterogeneity of the Chinese middle class. We identify four distinct groups: the elderly and inactive middle class, the old middle class, the lower middle class and the new middle class. In a second step, we assess the influence of social class on nutrition knowledge and food preference indices. Our results show that adults belonging to the elderly and inactive middle class and to the new middle class have better nutrition knowledge and healthier food preferences than their poorer counterparts. L’objectif de cet article est d’analyser l’influence de la classe sociale, et notamment de la classe moyenne, sur les connaissances nutritionnelles et les préférences alimentaires parmi les adultes résidant en Chine urbaine. Les investigations empiriques mises en oeuvre sont basées sur les données China Health and Nutrition Survey de 2009. Premièrement, nous proposons une définition multidimensionnelle des classes sociales combinant le revenu, l’emploi et l’éducation afin de mettre en évidence l’hétérogénéité de la classe moyenne chinoise. Nous identifions quatre groupes distincts : la classe moyenne de retraités et d’inactifs, l’ancienne classe moyenne, la classe moyenne inférieure et la nouvelle classe moyenne. Deuxièmement, nous évaluons l’influence de la classe sociale sur des indices de connaissances nutritionnelles et de préférences alimentaires. Nos résultats montrent que les adultes membres de la classe moyenne de retraités et d’inactifs et de la nouvelle classe moyenne ont de meilleures connaissances nutritionnelles et des préférences alimentaires plus saines que le groupe le plus pauvre.

Suggested Citation

  • Céline BONNEFOND & Matthieu CLEMENT, 2015. "Does social class affect nutrition knowledge and food preferences among Chinese urban adults?," Working Papers 2014-2015_10, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Apr 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:tac:wpaper:2014-2015_10
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    File URL: http://gtl.univ-pau.fr/travaux/1922F_2014_2015_10docWCATT_Social_Class_Nutrition_Knowledge_Food_Preferences_Chinese_Urban_Adults_MClement_CBonnefond.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Nutrition knowledge; Food preferences; Social stratification; Middle class; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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