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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


MONDINI, Lenise  and  MONTEIRO, Carlos A.. Changing diet patterns in Brazil (1962-1988). Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.28, n.6, pp.433-439. ISSN 1518-8787.

Contemporary changes in food consumption patterns in urban areas of Brazil are described. The main data sources are two national food expenditure surveys undertaken in the early 60's and late 80's (1961-62 and 1987-88) and one national food intake survey undertaken in the mid-70' s (1974-75). The analysis is restricted to the seven metropolitan areas represented in the three surveys. Food patterns are described on the basis of the relative consumption of different food groups, proportion of energy from carbohydrates, protein and lipids, proportion of animal and vegetable protein and fats, proportion of complex and simple carbohydrates, ratio between poly-unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and relative consumption of cholesterol. Main food changes were similar in the Northeastern and Southeastern cities and involved: 1) reduction in the relative consumption of cereals, beans, roots and tubercles; 2) replacement of lard, bacon and butter by vegetable oils and margarine: and 3) increase in the relative consumption of eggs, milk and dairy products. As a net result of these changes there was, simultaneously, a decrease in the carbohydrate content of the Brazilian diet and an increase in its fat content. Total protein content of the diet remained at around 12% in the three surveys but animal protein increased. Changes in the fat content of the diet involved an increased proportion of vegetable fat, an increased ratio of poly-unsaturated/saturated fatty acids and a reduction in cholesterol intake. Health implications of dietary changes are discussed based on the World Health Organization's dietary guidelines.

Keywords : Feeding behavior; Food habits; Urban population.

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