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Nutritional knowledge, dietary behavior, postpartum women, Korea, China

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Background/Objectives: Proper nutrition intake during pregnancy and lactation is very important to both mothers and babies. Pregnant women should maintain proper nutritional status to restore decreased physical strength due to pregnancy and childbirth and produce breastmilk for the growth and development of the baby. Recently, the number of Chinese people living in Korea has increased as the exchange between Korea and China becomes active. It is important to provide proper nutrition education for pregnant women of both countries considering cultural differences.

Subjects/Methods: The subjects of this study were postpartum women in Gyeonggi, South Korea and Jinhua, China. The subjects were 20–45 years old less than six months after childbirth. A survey, using self-administered questionnaires, was conducted from October 2018 to January 2019. For data analysis, 221 Korean postpartum women (KPW) and 221 Chinese postpartum women (CPW) questionnaires were used.

Results: KPW had significantly higher nutritional knowledge score and dietary attitude score than CPW (P < 0.001). However, overall score for dietary habits was significantly higher in CPW compared to KPW (P < 0.001). In KPW, nutritional knowledge (P < 0.01) and dietary attitude (P < 0.001) had significantly positive correlations with dietary habits. The proportions of KPW and CPW who answered that they had experience of nutrition education were 28.5% and 80.1% (P < 0.001). The score for dietary habits was lower as the hours for watching TV and using mobile phone became longer in postpartum women of both countries, with significant differences in KPW (P < 0.001) and CPW (P < 0.05). In KPW, the score for dietary habits in postpartum women with exercise experience was significantly higher than that in postpartum women without exercise experience (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: More pregnancy-related nutrition education should be provided and various and effective nutrition education programs, which not only transfer information but can be practiced in the actual life, should be developed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Nutrition Research and Practice, v. 13, issue 6, p. 535-542