Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rehfeld, Betty Mae

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Food habits; Chinese--United States; Students Foreign--United States


A study on the food habits of Chinese students living in America was designed to determine if there is any change in eating habits after Chinese students came to U.S.A. The influence of length of stay in U.S.A. on these changes was also studied. A questionnaire was developed to collect information on the participants, their eating habits and changes in eating habits. A total of 70 Chinese and American students answered the prepared questionnaire during the summer of 1972. Chinese and American students who took part in the study were divided into 8 groups as follows: Chinese born females in America less than 5 years, Chinese born males in America less than 5 years, Chinese born females 6-10 years in America, Chinese born males 6-10 years in America, American born Chinese males, American born Chinese females, American males and American females. Frequency of food intake was converted to a number which indicated the times per month a food was consumed. From the results, we see that the longer Chinese students stayed in U.S.A., the more they liked coffee. Chinese born females tended to increase their use of sugar in tea after 5 years in U.S.A.. This increased use of sugar in tea did not occur in Chinese males when they came to U.S.A. Both American and Chinese students preferred fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish to frozen ones. When preparing foods, however, Chinese tended to use more fresh vegetables, fruits and fish than Americans. Chinese and American born Chinese preferred Chinese foods over American foods. The preference of Chinese males and females for snacks in general, and sweets in particular increased with the length of time they were in U.S.A. There was no significant difference between groups when considering the amount of fish, coffee and frozen vegetables that was consumed. Chinese born and American born Chinese tended to eat more cereals, Chinese meat dishes and Chinese snack dishes than Americans. Chinese born and American born Chinese females consumed more fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, Chinese cereal dishes and Chinese vegetable dishes than did American females. American born Chinese males consumed more chicken and tea than American males. When considering meats and Italian foods, American born Chinese and American males and females were more apt to consume them than their Chinese born counterpart. The longer Chinese born males were in American the more dairy products they consumed. Chinese born males in American 6-10 years consumed fewer sweets and deserts than American born Chinese and American males. Sweets foods preferences were more likely to develop among Chinese females than Chinese males who came to America. If we exclude Chinese and American foods, Chinese males and females were more likely to prefer Italian foods than any other nationality foods.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 40 pages




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