Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/118132
Type: Thesis
Title: Migration and food security in urban China: a case study in megacity Shanghai from the perspective of food consumption
Author: Liao, Lingling
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Geography, Environment & Population
Abstract: This thesis looks at the food security of migrants from the perspective of food consumption. Rapid urbanisation particularly with massive inflows of migrants from rural areas into large cities has been a significant phenomenon in China and many other developing countries. This is concomitant with changes in lifestyles and food consumption patterns known as the “nutrition transition” that has significantly influenced not only food security through both the supply and demand sides but also public health. Existing studies on food security and urbanisation tend to focus primarily on the macro level, such as examining reduced agricultural production resulting from land loss. Health problems particularly obesity caused by changing food consumption patterns in the process of urbanisation have also received increasing attention. Different groups of population have different patterns of food consumption, which in turn influence their own as well as national food security. The food security of migrants in developing countries like China deserves serious attention not only for promoting human wellbeing but also to achieve food security for the whole population. With the long-standing focus on rural food security in studies linking food security, urbanisation and migration, little attention has been paid to the linkage between migration and urban food security. Although recent research has started to shift the focus from the influences of migration on rural food security to the changes in the patterns of food consumption of the migrants themselves, which have been found to differ by study area. This research attempts to fill this gap in the context of China, the world’s most populous country, and therefore plays a significant role in achieving the food security goal of the international community. This thesis enriches the understanding of the interaction between migration and food security by using a case study approach, which involves primary survey data collected from 395 rural migrants in Shanghai – the most urbanised city in China. It has the following findings: 1) The increased consumption of sugar and beverages found in some studies on the food consumption of African migrants has not been the case in China. This research found that migrants in Shanghai had more nutritious and diverse diets after migration, with increased consumption of poultry meat, fungus, milk products and aquatic products; 2) Staple foods, vegetables, animal meat, fish, fruit and poultry meat were regularly consumed food groups in migrants’ diets, and milk products, alcohol, soft drinks, snacks, other aquatic products, animal organs, processed food and fast food were irregularly consumed, with staple foods and animal meat the top two contributors to the daily dietary energy intake of surveyed migrants; 3) Consistent with findings from studies in other nations, the sending of remittances was an important determinant of the food consumption pattern of migrants, as those who did not send remittances back to their rural hometown tended to consume more foods particularly nutritious food groups; 4) Socio-demographic characteristics were important in shaping migrants’ food consumption patterns, with age, gender and occupational industry playing the dominant roles, with females and those in the business and services industries more likely to consume more nutritious food groups while aged migrants showed a generally lower consumption of food except alcohol; 5) The food preferences and awareness of food security of migrants particularly their attention to healthy diets led to substantial variations in their food consumption, especially for the less popular food groups, and 6) urbanisation did improve food security in terms of the improved food access of migrants in Shanghai including more food choices for migrants, which were also related to better income, better transportation and market distribution. The survey contributes to the knowledge of migrants’ food consumption patterns in China which has been found to differ from other developing countries. The determinants of their food consumption patterns offer useful information to policy makers on how to promote healthy diets and thus ensure the food security and wellbeing of all the population. At the same time, the food consumption patterns found among the migrants as whole, and within different socio –demographic groups, also reflect their general demands on the food market, which would in turn affect food supply in the urban food market, given the increasing rural to urban migration that is fuelling the process of urbanisation in China. This would also offer entitlements on the requirements on resources needed for food production to meet future food demand to ensure food security in the urban areas. Moreover, food consumption trends found among aged migrants would also have an important influence on future food demand in China, with the aging of the population.
Advisor: Rudd, Dianne
Tan, Yan
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2018
Keywords: Food security
rural-urban migration
urbanisation
food consumption
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Liao2018_PhD.pdf3.14 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.