Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
COUTINHO, Janine Giuberti; GENTIL, Patrícia Chaves and TORAL, Natacha. Malnutrition and obesity in Brazil: dealing with the problem through a unified nutritional agenda. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, suppl.2, pp. s332-s340. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008001400018.
Brazil, like other developing countries, is currently experiencing a nutritional transition that is often determined by poor eating. Population-based surveys have shown a continuing downward trend in undernutrition in this country, together with increases in excess weight at different stages of life. Monitoring the nutritional profile helps generate an attitude of surveillance and orientation of health promotion activities. The Family Health Strategy, together with various situational aspects in Brazil, has shown tangible results in the reduction of undernutrition; still, poor eating has played a major role in the increased prevalence of obesity and other chronic non-communicable diseases, besides having a heavy impact on individual quality of life and placing a significant burden on the Unified National Health System. Intervening in this contemporary public health dilemma requires prioritizing a unified nutritional agenda focused on the entire course of life, breaking the vicious circle that begins during the intrauterine period and lasts throughout life.
Keywords : Nutritional Epidemiology; Nutritional Transition; Chronic Diseases.