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Quality of food choices of Brazilian adolescents according to individual earnings

  • Marina Campos Araujo (a1), Diana Barbosa Cunha (a2), Ilana Nogueira Bezerra (a3), Maria Beatriz Trindade de Castro (a4) and Rosely Sichieri (a2)...
Abstract Objective

To evaluate the quality of food choices according to adolescent individual earnings in Brazil.


Adolescents were classified according to their individual earnings as having or not having spending power for their own expenses. Food records from two non-consecutive days of the Brazilian National Dietary Survey (NDS 2008–2009) were used to estimate food intake. Quality of food choices was based on two approaches: (i) the NOVA classification, which classifies processed and ultra-processed foods and drinks as unhealthy food groups; and (ii) traditional classification, with beans, milk, fruits and vegetables as healthy food groups, and soft drinks, sweets, snacks and crackers classified as unhealthy. We compared mean food intake (g/kJ or ml/kJ) according to per capita household income (tertiles) and adolescent individual earnings, with adolescent earnings adjusted for household income, using multiple linear regression.


Brazilian households (n 13 569).


Adolescents aged 14–18 years (n 3673).


Males without individual earnings had higher per capita household income than those with individual earnings. Household income was associated with all three food groups of the NOVA classification and seven of the eight groups of the traditional classification. However, only beans and snacks were consumed in significantly greater quantities by adolescents with individual earnings compared with those without earnings.


Adolescent individual earnings were not the main driver of food choices; however, per capita household income was associated with food choices. The consumption of both healthy and unhealthy items increased with increasing household income.

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Public Health Nutrition
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