Results of the first Brazilian nationwide individual dietary survey reveal low diet quality, especially among high income individuals

Similar to many other countries, dietary patterns in Brazil have changed rapidly and drastically in recent decades. In results published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, Rita Souza, Edna Yokoo, Rosely Sicheri and Rosangela Pereira  present results from the National Dietary Survey, conducted in 2008-2009, which obtained information on food consumption in a nationally representative sample of individuals ≥10 years old.

The study revealed that overall diet in Brazil 2008-2009 was high in energy density and added sugar and low in fiber, and that it has an unbalanced ratio of linoleic to linolenic fatty acids and a slightly high trans-fat content. Animal protein, added sugars, and saturated fat contributed substantially to total energy intake, even though traditional foods remained important: rice, beans, beef, bread, and coffee together accounted for an average of 50% of the daily energy intake.

Income was an important correlate of food consumption. Compared with those in the lowest income levels, individuals in the highest quartile of income reported higher energy intake and a lower quality diet, as indicated by greater intake of added sugars and saturated fat. Traditional diet was also less frequent among those in the highest quartile of income. Diet plays a crucial role in the increase in mortality due to chronic non transmissible diseases and in the accelerated progression of overweight and obesity. These findings can, at least partly, explain the increased prevalence of overweight and the advance of chronic non-transmissible conditions in Brazil.

Read the full article here until 11th June.

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