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Brazilian Children’s Dietary Intake in Relation to Brazil’s New Nutrition Guidelines: a Systematic Review

Abstract

Purpose of Review

This systematic review reports the latest scientific evidence, from cross-sectional and cohort studies, describing the dietary intake of children and adolescents from Brazil. The goal of the review was to describe intakes according to Brazil’s new food classification system (NOVA) which classifies foods according to the degree of processing, i.e., unprocessed/minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed food, and ultra-processed food. Due to a paucity of data using the NOVA classification system, studies with other intake descriptors were included.

Recent Findings

Results using the NOVA system showed a somewhat high intake of (ultra-)processed items, than of minimally processed items. Studies using other methods of dietary assessment showed not only high intake of sources rich in fat, sugar, and sodium, most of them processed items (e.g., savory snacks and sweets) but also intake of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Overall, the literature was marred by inconsistencies and variation in study definitions and methods making it hard to make firm conclusions regarding the dietary intake of Brazilian children.

Summary

The development of tools to evaluate the complexities of dietary intake is much needed. Such a tool needs to be accepted and adopted by numerous study groups, to describe dietary status among Brazilian children and devise the most effective, and to evaluate the success of nutrition education programs.

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Correspondence to Ana Carolina Barco Leme.

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Ana Carolina Barco Leme declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Regina Mara Fisberg declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Debbe Thompson declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Sonia Tucunduva Philippi declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Theresa Nicklas served as chair of a workshop sponsored by the Nestlé Nutrition Institute (Switzerland) and received reimbursement for travel expenses as well as an honorarium for her participation. She has also received compensation for proposals, manuscripts, and presentations contributed to Nutrition Impact, LLC.

Tom Baranowski declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Leme, A.C.B., Fisberg, R.M., Thompson, D. et al. Brazilian Children’s Dietary Intake in Relation to Brazil’s New Nutrition Guidelines: a Systematic Review. Curr Nutr Rep 8, 145–166 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-019-0261-6

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Keywords

  • Diet
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Brazil
  • Review
  • NOVA