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Sources of excessive saturated fat, trans fat and sugar consumption in Brazil: an analysis of the first Brazilian nationwide individual dietary survey

  • Rosangela A Pereira (a1) (a2), Kiyah J Duffey (a2), Rosely Sichieri (a3) and Barry M Popkin (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 29 November 2012

To examine the patterns of consumption of foods high in solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS) in Brazil.


Cross-sectional study; individual dietary intake survey. Food intake was assessed by means of two non-consecutive food records. Foods providing >9·1 % of energy from saturated fat, or >1·3 % of energy from trans fat, or >13 % of energy from added sugars per 100 g were classified as high in SoFAS.


Brazilian nationwide survey, 2008–2009.


Individuals aged ≥10 years old.


Mean daily energy intake was 8037 kJ (1921 kcal), 52 % of energy came from SoFAS foods. Contribution of SoFAS foods to total energy intake was higher among women (52 %) and adolescents (54 %). Participants in rural areas (43 %) and in the lowest quartile of per capita family income (43 %) reported the smallest contribution of SoFAS foods to total energy intake. SoFAS foods were large contributors to total saturated fat (87 %), trans fat (89 %), added sugar (98 %) and total sugar (96 %) consumption. The SoFAS food groups that contributed most to total energy intake were meats and beverages. Top SoFAS foods contributing to saturated fat and trans fat intakes were meats and fats and oils. Most of the added and total sugar in the diet was supplied by SoFAS beverages and sweets and desserts.


SoFAS foods play an important role in the Brazilian diet. The study identifies options for improving the Brazilian diet and reducing nutrition-related non-communicable chronic diseases, but also points out some limitations of the nutrient-based criteria.

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