Chinese Food Image Database for Eating and Appetite Studies

Xinhang Li, Yue Pan, Yan Han, Qianlin Liang, Xinmeng Yang, Xia Meng, Xiao Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Modern people live in an environment with ubiquitous food cues, including food advertisements, videos, and smells. Do these food cues change people's eating behavior? Since diet plays a crucial role in maintaining health, it has been researched for decades. As convenient alternatives for real food, food images are widely used in diet research. To date, researchers from Germany, Spain, and other countries have established food photo databases; however, these food pictures are not completely suitable for Chinese studies because of the ingredients and characteristics of Chinese food. The main goal of this research is to create a library of Chinese food images and to provide as complete a data reference as possible for future studies that use food images as experimental material. After standardized processing, we selected 508 common Chinese food pictures with high familiarity and recognizability and attached detailed classifications concerning taste, macronutrients, calories, and participants' emotional responses to the pictures. Additionally, with food pictures as material, we conducted research on how people make dietary decisions in order to identify the variables that may affect a person's food choices. The effects of individual perceived healthiness and palatability, gender, BMI, family income, and levels of emotional and restricted eating were examined using eating decisions based on healthiness and palatability as dependent variables. The results showed that people with low household incomes are more likely to be influenced by food taste in their dietary decision-making process, while individuals with high household incomes are more likely to consider the healthy aspects of food. Moreover, parental BMI affects what children consume, with children who have parents with higher BMIs being more prone to overlook the healthiness value of food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2916
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022


  • database
  • dietary decision-making
  • food cues
  • food image
  • obesity


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