[Local Data] Hong Kong preschool diet quality and eating behavior

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General Nutrition Paediatrics Healthy Eating & Hydration
[Local Data] Hong Kong preschool diet quality and eating behavior

302 HK children aged 30-60 months recruited from local kindergartens

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Data Collections:

  • 24-hour dietary recalls with questionnaires on child eating behavior, parents’ feeding practices, etc.

Key Findings:

Diet quality
  • Consumption of food groups vs. HK Healthy Eating Pyramid for children aged 2-5 years:
    Food groups Consumption Status Results (Daily intake)
    Grain Adequate 4.8 servings vs. the recommended 3-6 servings
    (1 serving = 0.5 cup cooked grain)
    Vegetable Adequate 1.54 servings vs. the recommended 1.5 servings
    (1 serving = 0.5 cup of cooked vegetable)
    Fruit Adequate 1.08 servings vs. the recommended at least 1 serving
    (1 serving = 1 medium size fruit)

    Milk & Dairy
    (including formula milk)

    Inadequate 1.6 servings vs. the recommended 2 servings
    (1 serving = 240 mL)
    Meat Excessive 4.3 servings vs. the recommended 2-4 servings
    (1 serving = 1 oz)

  • Micronutrients intake:
    Mean intakes of vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the Chinese recommended nutrient intakes (Chinese RNIs)


Children’s food preferences (% of surveyed children) [top 2 items]
  • Fruit group (34%), followed by milk (23%)
  • Red-colored foods (26%), followed by orange-colored (21%)
  • Foods served at warm temperature (54%), followed by room temperature (22%)


Parents’ feeding behavior
  • 77% of parents reported that they sometimes / always experienced difficulties when feeding their child, but only 30% had consulted a healthcare professional
  • 67.4% of parents reported they provided dietary supplements to their child, including cod liver oil (40.8%), vitamin C (19.0%), vitamin A+D (13.6%), multivitamins (8.2%), and vitamin A+D with calcium (4.8%)
  • 36% of children were currently consuming formula milk, in which over 96% of them were consuming cow’s milk-based formula


Authors’ Conclusions:

  • The study showed that diet quality among children in Hong Kong needs improvement, and the results may be useful to develop nutrition interventions for improving children’s diet quality




Yip PS, et al. Diet quality and eating behavioral patterns in preschool children in Hong Kong. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017;26(2):298-307. Link to PubMed