Per capita versus adult-equivalent estimates of calorie availability in household budget surveys

Estimativa domiciliar da disponibilidade calórica per capita versus adulto-equivalente em pesquisa de orçamento familiar

This study aims to estimate an adult-equivalent scale for calorie requirements and to determine the differences between adult-equivalent and per capita measurements of calorie availability in the Brazilian population. The study used data from the 2002-2003 Brazilian Household Budget Survey. The calorie requirement for a reference adult individual was based on the mean requirements for adult males and females (2,550kcal/day). The conversion factors were defined as the ratios between the calorie requirements for each age group and gender and that of the reference adult. The adult-equivalent calorie availability levels were higher than the per capita levels, with the largest differences in rural and low-income households. Differences in household calorie availability varied from 22kcal/day (households with adults and an adolescent) to 428kcal/day (households with elderly individuals), thus showing that per capital measurements can underestimate the real calorie availability, since they overlook differences in household composition.

Food Consumption; Nutrition Surveys; Energy Requirement

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