Master’s student Jingjing Ma is working with College of Health senior lecturer in food and nutrition Dr Janet Weber on the study. They hope to discover what influence both traditional Chinese medicine and western nutrition has on the eating habits of pregnant women.
“Previous studies have shown that Chinese immigrants’ eating habits change as they adapt more of western culture,” Ms Ma says.
“They have also found that outcomes for pregnant Chinese immigrants were different from those of local Westerners, which indicates that traditional practices might influence their attitude to nutrition and eating habits during pregnancy.”
There is now a large Chinese population in New Zealand, but there has been little research into their eating habits. “Therefore, it is necessary to understand Chinese immigrants’ attitudes and eating habits in relation to pregnancy in New Zealand,” she says.
The study will investigate what Chinese women eat during pregnancy and their attitudes towards traditional Chinese medicine and western nutrition, in particular the types of food recommended to them during pregnancy.
Participants will be asked to complete an online questionnaire, which will take about 15 minutes. The researchers are seeking 110 Chinese women who are currently pregnant or have been pregnant in the last five years, who live in New Zealand and were either born in China or have at least one Chinese parent born in China. The questionnaire is written in both English and Mandarin.
More information about the study and the questionnaire can be found here.