Consumption of healthy food and ultra-processed products: comparison between pregnant and non-pregnant women, Vigitel 2018

Ana Maria Pita Ruiz Daniela de Assumpção Deborah Carvalho Malta Priscila Maria Stolses Bergamo Francisco About the authors



to characterize pregnant women’s eating habits and compare them to women of reproductive age, and to analyze the association between pregnancy and eating habits.


a cross-sectional study with 13,108 women aged 18 to 50 years (179 pregnant women), included in the Vigitel 2018 telephone survey. Eating habits were assessed by the frequency of food consumption considered as food quality markers and by food eaten in previous day. NOVA classification was used to categorize food into: natural/minimally processed, and ultra-processed food products. The differences were verified by Pearson's Chi-square test and Poisson multiple regression.


in pregnant women, we observed lower percentages of natural juice intake (27.5%) and fruit (10.1%) 0-2 times/week, and higher percentages of juice (36.4%) 3-4 times and fruit (74.2%) ≥ 5 times/week compared to non-pregnant women. No differences were detected in the daily frequencies of food intake among the women. The day before the interview, almost 95% of the pregnant women consumed ultra-processed products. Pregnant women reported a lower frequency of soft drink consumption (12.3%) and sauces (7.4%) than non-pregnant women.


pregnant women and non-pregnant women had high consumption of ultraprocessed products, highlighting the necessity of interventions, aiming to promote healthy eating.

Key words:
Prenatal nutrition; Food consumption; Industrialized food; Epidemiological surveys

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