Stomach cancer remains the second leading cancer in incidence in Shanghai, China, despite its decline over the past 2 decades. To clarify risk factors for this common malignancy, we conducted a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. Included in the study were 1,124 stomach cancer patients (age 20-69) newly diagnosed in 1988-1989 and 1,451 controls randomly selected among Shanghai residents. Usual adult dietary intake was assessed using a comprehensive food frequency questionnaire. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression models. Risks of stomach cancer were inversely associated with high consumption of several food groups, including fresh vegetables and fruits, poultry, eggs, plant oil, and some nutrients, such as protein, fat, fiber and antioxidant vitamins. By contrast, risks increased with increasing consumption of dietary carbohydrates, with odds ratios (ORs) of 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-2.1) and 1.9 (95% CI 1.3-2.9) in the highest quartile of intake among men (p for trend=0.02) and women (p=0.0007), respectively. Similar increases in risk were associated with frequent intake of noodles and bread in both men (p=0.07) and women (p=0.05) after further adjustment for fiber consumption. In addition, elevated risks were associated with frequent consumption of preserved, salty or fried foods, and hot soup/porridge, and with irregular meals, speed eating and binge eating. No major differences in risk were seen according to subsite (cardia vs. non-cardia). Our findings add to the evidence that diet plays a major role in stomach cancer risk and suggest the need for further evaluation of risks associated with carbohydrates and starchy foods as well as the mechanisms involved.