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A13. The ’Balance of Good Health’– a Chinese version

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Background Although attempts had been made to consider foods consumed by ethnic minority groups to ensure transcultural application when developing the National Food Guide –’The Balance of Good Health’, an Afro‐Caribbean version has now been prepared and it was felt that both the format of the display and the context of the food guide were not applicable to the Chinese community in UK. To ensure everyone benefits from the National Health Care Service, health professionals and health education agencies must be sensitive to linguistic, socio‐economic and lifestyle diversity within the ethnic minorities.

Aims The aim of the project was to develop a food guide using Chinese foods and with appropriate written Chinese form to address the members of the Chinese community with consistent messages of healthy eating, and translate the nutrient recommendations into food guidance to them.

Methods The research involved 54 Chinese members and they were recruited from various areas in London. Different shapes (in the form of a bowl, a triangle or a tilted plate) of the guide were developed and were used to assess subjects’ performance (how well the information was understood and recalled) in a meal ranking and a food sorting task. Subjects’ preferences for a particular shape of the guide were asked after undertaking the tasks. Comp‐eat was used in designing the meals and statistical tests such as Mann–Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis and Chi‐square were used to assess the significance of the results.

Results The key findings were that exposure to a guide could have a significant effect on consumer’s understanding and recall of guide concepts (P < 0.01). Secondly. guides that were in the shape of a triangle were better at conveying messages of nutritional equivalence and proportionality than those in the shape of a bowl or tilted place (P < 0.05). However, the preference studies showed that the Chinese consumers preferred a tilted plate to a triangle or a bowl because of some Chinese traditional beliefs.

Conclusions It was concluded that a guide in the form of a tilted plate should be used since consumers’ preferences should be respected, and alternative ways to reinforce nutritional messages through a tilted plate model should be sought.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, King’s College London

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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