Working Paper Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

Internet Access and Nutritional Intake: Evidence from Rural China

Version 1 : Received: 8 May 2021 / Approved: 13 May 2021 / Online: 13 May 2021 (13:02:57 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 29 May 2021 / Approved: 31 May 2021 / Online: 31 May 2021 (13:25:10 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 11 June 2021 / Approved: 11 June 2021 / Online: 11 June 2021 (14:54:42 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Xue, P.; Han, X.; Elahi, E.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, X. Internet Access and Nutritional Intake: Evidence from Rural China. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2015. Xue, P.; Han, X.; Elahi, E.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, X. Internet Access and Nutritional Intake: Evidence from Rural China. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2015.


Over the past four decades, China has experienced a nutritional transition and has developed the largest population of internet users. In this study, we evaluated the impacts of internet access on the nutritional intake in Chinese rural residents. An IV-Probit-based propensity score matching method was used to determine the impact of internet access on nutritional intake. The data were collected from 10042 rural households in six Chinese provinces. The results reveal that rural residents with internet access have significantly higher energy, protein, and fat intake than those without. Chinese rural residents with internet access consumed 1.35% (28.62 kcal), 5.02% (2.61 g), and 4.33% (3.30 g) more energy, protein, and fat, respectively. There was heterogeneity as regards the intake of energy, protein, and fat among those in different income groups. Moreover, non-staple food consumption is the main channel through which internet access affects nutritional intake. The results demonstrate that the local population should use the internet to improve their nutritional status. Further studies are required to investigate the impact of internet use on food consumed away from home and micronutrients intake.


internet access; nutritional intake; rural China; propensity score matching


Business, Economics and Management, Economics

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 31 May 2021
Commenter: Xinru Han
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: 1. The article has undergone English language editing by MDPI.
2. We changed the structure of our manuscript.
3. We re-wrote the discussion section and the conclusion section.
4. We analyzed more results.
5. We added a new author.
6. We kept Xinru Han as the corresponding author.
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