The article traces a first profile of the production and circulation of educational materials produced and distributed by municipal health surveillance offices in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focusing on the food theme, in 2008-2010 period. For mapping, we consulted databases and health surveillance coordinator collections from the 92 municipalities in the state. The health surveillance teams received a letter of invitation to participate in the survey. They were asked to submit physical or scanned versions of their educational materials and to fill out a questionnaire concerning issues of interest to the research: Theme of the materials, year of production and circulation, circulation, institutional origin, forms of cooperation and circulation, justification for the production. Thirty coordinators responded, and only nine sent materials rated as relevant to the food theme. This made it clear that investments in this area are very low, despite its importance to public health. The analysis pointed out that most information in the materials had been written in a technical-scientific language the population is unlikely to understand as intended; that there are great differences in production resources, with high-and low-quality materials, that there is a circumstantial circulation effort that is subject to the administrative political process, and that there are recurrent cases of action discontinuity.
Educational materials in health; communication and health; health surveillance; food