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Interventions and public health nutrition

Energy intake and energy contributions of macronutrients and major food sources among Chinese adults: CHNS 2015 and CNTCS 2015



Excessive energy intake and unbalanced food choices are major health concerns associated with obesity and related chronic diseases. This study evaluates the levels of dietary energy intake and the energy contributions of macronutrients, major food sources, and various eating occasions and processed food among Chinese adults.


The study examined a cross-sectional sample from CHNS and CNTCS 2015 that used three 24 h recalls and calculated energy intake and food sources based on the China Food Composition Table. After excluding extreme values, the analyses included 11,974 subjects aged 18–64.


The estimated energy intake was 2063.3 kcal/d (2243.8 kcal/d for males and 1902.4 kcal/d for females), and 39.1% of subjects met the gender-age-PA-based Estimated Energy Requirement. The proportion of energy from fats was 35.8% without significant age or gender differences. Adults of lower socioeconomic statuses, indicated by lower education levels and lower household incomes per capita, consumed lower percentages of energy from fats and higher percentages from carbohydrates. The study population as a whole reported an average energy density of 1.88 kcal/g and an energy contribution from restaurant foods of 1.8%.


The study reports a lower energy intake level than CHNS 2009. Adults living in southern China or urban areas, which are relatively developed regions, or with higher socioeconomic statuses consumed less energy from carbohydrates, moderate amounts from proteins, and more from fats, indicating a need for dietary guidelines or interventions that take into account socio-demographic factors.

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This research uses data from the CHNS and the CNTCS. We appreciate the efforts of more than 1500 field investigators from 15 provinces and the support of all of the subjects.


The CNTCS received funding from Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (NO. 13103110700015005). The present study is also sponsored by Carolina Population Center (P2CHD050924, T32 HD007168), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the NIH (R01-HD30880, DK056350, R24 HD050924, and R01-HD38700) and the NIH Fogarty International Center (D43 TW009077, D43 TW007709) for financial support for the CHNS data collection and analysis files from 1989 to 2015 and future surveys.

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Correspondence to Huijun Wang.

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Jiang, H., Zhang, J., Du, W. et al. Energy intake and energy contributions of macronutrients and major food sources among Chinese adults: CHNS 2015 and CNTCS 2015. Eur J Clin Nutr 75, 314–324 (2021).

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