Fish, shellfish, and meat meals of the public in Singapore

Joanna Burger, Jennifer Fleischer, Michael Gochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Understanding different patterns of fish consumption is an important component of the assessment of risk from contaminants in fish. While there have been extensive studies of fish consumption in Western cultures, less attention has been devoted to the role of fish and meat in the diets of people in other cultures. A survey of 212 people living in Singapore was conducted to examine the relative importance of fish, shellfish, and other meat in their diets and to ascertain whether there were differences as a function of age, income, education or gender. As expected, fish and shellfish played an important role in their daily diets. On average, people ate fish in about 10 meals a week, chicken for eight meals, and shrimp and pork for about six meals each. While nearly 8% never ate fish, 18% ate fish at all 21 meals a week and over 20% ate shellfish for all 21 meals. Income explained about 14% of the variation in the number of fish meals consumed, and age explained about 8% of the variation in number of chicken meals per week. There were no gender differences in the number of meals of each type. People less than 26 years old ate significantly more pork, chicken, and other meat meals and fewer shellfish meals than older people. People with higher incomes ate significantly more fish meals than those with lower incomes. Chinese individuals ate significantly more meals of pork, chicken, and other meat than other ethnic groups, and they ate only 26% of their meals at home, while others ate 33% of their meals at home. The data indicate a great deal of variation in the number of meals of fish, shellfish, and other meats eaten by the people interviewed, making dietary and risk assessments challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-261
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


  • Age differences
  • Consumption
  • Diet
  • Fish
  • Human health
  • Shellfish

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