Understanding nutritional intake of Chinese farmers from the perspective of sustainable livelihood analysis

Abstract

Based on the framework of sustainable livelihood analysis and using the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data, this paper examines the connection between livelihood assets and farmers’ nutritional intake. Results show that capital endowment and nutritional intake of farmers with diversified production are greater than those who specialize; capital endowment and nutritional intake of horticultural households are greater than those who engage in agriculture. Compared with non-economically disadvantaged households, higher livelihood assets have significant association with improved fat and protein intake of economically disadvantaged households. Compared with diversified farmers, more livelihood assets have significant association with improved energy and carbohydrate intake of agricultural households. Compared with those who specialize, additional livelihood assets have significant association with improved fat and protein intake of farmers with diversified production.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    During the 13th Five Year Plan period, the goal of poverty alleviation is to steadily achieve the goal that the rural poor will not be short of food and shelter and will have access to education and basic medical care by 2020; at the same time, the growth rate of per capita disposable income of farmers in poor areas will be higher than the national average, and the development of main basic public services will be close to the national average.

  2. 2.

    The three most critical options needed for human development to expand are a long and healthy life, access to education and the resources necessary to ensure a decent life (Hopkins 1991).

  3. 3.

    Nutrient intake is calculated based on the consumption of various foods. The tool used is the Food Composition Table (FCT). However, due to geographical differences, the FCT varies across countries. The “Chinese Food Composition Table” was developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Chinese National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety and known as the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

  4. 4.

    Based on the Chinese DRIs, the reference intake of energy, carbohydrates, fats and protein for men aged 18–50 years engaged in light physical activity is 2,250 kcal, 120 g, 90 g and 65 g, respectively; for 50–- 65-year-old men, the recommended intake is 2,100 kcal, 120 g, 84 g and 65 g, respectively; for 18–50-year-old women, the recommended intake is 1,800 kcal, 120 g, 72 g and 55 g, respectively; and for 50–65-year-old women, the recommended intake is 1,750 kcal, 120 g, 70 g and 55 g, respectively.

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Availability of data and materials

The data sets supporting the results of this article are included within the article.

Funding

The present research used data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). The first and third authors are grateful to research grant funding from the National Institute for Health (NIH), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD, R01 HD30880; P2C HD050924), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK, R01 DK104371), the NIH Fogarty D43 TW009077 for financial support for the CHNS data collection and analysis (since 1989), the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the Ministry of Health for support for CHNS 2009, the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai (since 2009), and the Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Prevention and Control (since 2011). We thank the National Institute for Nutrition and Health and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Yue Wan performed the data analyses and wrote the manuscript.

Wuyang Hu contributed significantly to analysis and manuscript preparation.

Hao Hu helped perform the analysis with constructive discussions.

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Correspondence to Yue Wan.

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Wan, Y., Hu, W. & Hu, H. Understanding nutritional intake of Chinese farmers from the perspective of sustainable livelihood analysis. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12872-3

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Keywords

  • Chinese farmer nutrition
  • Sustainable livelihood analysis
  • Human capital
  • Natural capital
  • Physical capital
  • Financial capital
  • Social capital
  • Economically disadvantaged households
  • Diversity of agricultural production
  • Entropy method