Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.52(6) > 1142016

J Nutr Health. 2019 Dec;52(6):618-627. Korean.
Published online Dec 26, 2019.
© 2019 The Korean Nutrition Society
Comparison of lunch quality through home meals, institutional meals, and eating-out in Chinese adults: analysis of the data from the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey
Juntai Jin, Youngmi Lee, Haeryun Park, Kyunghee Song and Yunhee Chang
Department of Food and Nutrition, Myongji University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 17058, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-31-324-1691, Email:
Received Jun 14, 2019; Revised Sep 26, 2019; Accepted Dec 05, 2019.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study evaluated the dietary quality of lunches consumed through home meals, institutional meals, and eating-out at restaurants in Chinese adults.


The total of 3,708 people (aged 20 ~ 64) were selected from the data of the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey and divided into three groups: the home (HM, 2,845 people), institutional (IM, 579 people), and eating-out (EO, 284 people) meal groups. Dietary intakes of eight food groups, the frequency of eating certain foods, food group intake pattern, dietary diversity and the variety score of lunches were analyzed.


The meat intake of IM and EO were higher than that of HM (p < 0.05), and the vegetable intake was the highest in HM, followed by IM and EO (p < 0.05). The intake of fruit and milk · dairy products were extremely low in all the groups. Compared with 1/3 daily recommended intake, the meat intake was above the standard in all the groups and the vegetable intake was insufficient only in EO. The most frequently consumed food in all the groups was rice, followed by pork. The relatively desirable food group pattern, “grain + meat + vegetable”, was highest in IM (66.0%) and lowest in EO (48.2%). The “grain + vegetable” pattern in HM and the “grain + meat” pattern in EO were relatively higher than that in the other groups. The dietary diversity score (p < 0.001) and dietary variety score (p < 0.001) were significantly higher in IM than that in the HM or EO.


The lunches of Chinese adults had common problems in excess meat intake and a severe lack of fruit and milk · dairy products. Even institutional meals were not ideal as single meals for Chinese adults, although they were better in food diversity. Customized dietary educational programs based on balanced meal plans need to be established, especially for those Chinese people having lunch at home or eating out. In addition, a systematic food service program should be developed and firmly implemented.

Keywords: China Health and Nutrition Survey; lunch; home meal; institutional meal; eating-out


Table 1
General characteristics of subjects
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Table 2
Intake by food group at lunch according to Chinese Food Guide of Pagoda
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Table 3
List of food with high consumption frequency at lunch
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Table 4
Food group intake pattern at lunch
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Table 5
Dietary diversity score at lunch
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Table 6
Dietary variety score at lunch
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