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Difference in adult food group intake by sex and age groups comparing Brazil and United States nationwide surveys

Bezerra, Ilana Nogueira, Goldman, Joseph, Rhodes, Donna G, Hoy, Mary Katherine, de Moura Souza, Amanda, Chester, Deirdra N, Martin, Carrie L, Sebastian, Rhonda S, Ahuja, Jaspreet K, Sichieri, Rosely, Moshfegh, Alanna J
Nutrition journal 2014 v.13 no.1 pp. 74
Americans, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, beans, breads, dairy products, eating habits, elderly, energy intake, fish, food groups, food intake, food records, meat, national surveys, obesity, pasta, pizza, plant-based foods, poultry, rice, soft drinks, sweets, tea, young adults, Brazil, United States
BACKGROUND: International comparisons of dietary intake are an important source of information to better understand food habits and their relationship to nutrition related diseases. The objective of this study is to compare food intake of Brazilian adults with American adults identifying possible dietary factors associated with the increase in obesity in Brazil. METHODS: This research used cross-national analyses between the United States and Brazil, including 5,420 adults in the 2007–2008 What We Eat In America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 26,390 adults in the 2008–2009 Brazilian Household Budget Survey, Individual Food Intake. Dietary data were collected through 24 h recalls in the U.S. and through food records in Brazil. Foods and beverages were combined into 25 food categories. Food intake means and percentage of energy contribution by food categories to the population’s total energy intake were compared between the countries. RESULTS: Higher frequencies of intake were reported in the United States compared to Brazil for the majority of food categories except for meat, rice and rice dishes; beans and legumes; spreads; and coffee and tea. In either country, young adults (20-39 yrs) had greater reports of meat, poultry and fish mixed dishes; pizza and pasta; and soft drinks compared to older adults (60 + yrs). Meat, poultry and fish mixed dishes (13%), breads (11%), sweets and confections (8%), pizza and pasta (7%), and dairy products (6%) were the top five food category sources of energy intake among American adults. The top five food categories in Brazil were rice and rice dishes (13%), meat (11%), beans and legumes (10%), breads (10%), and coffee and tea (6%). Thus, traditional plant-based foods such as rice and beans were important contributors in the Brazilian diet. CONCLUSION: Although young adults had higher reports of high-calorie and nutrient-poor foods than older adults in both countries, Brazilian young adults did not consume a diet similar to Americans, indicating that it is still possible to reverse the current trends of incorporating Western dietary habits in Brazil.