British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary patterns of the Andean population of Puna and Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

D. Romagueraa1, N. Sammana2a3, A. Rossia3, C. Mirandaa2, A. Ponsa1 and J. A. Tura1 c1

a1 Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, Research Institute of Health Sciences, University of the Balearic Islands, Guillem Colom Bldg, Campus, E-07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

a2 Research Centre of Food Technology, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Jujuy, 4600 San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina

a3 Department of Nutritional Biochemistry, INSIBIO, National University of Tucumán, 4000 San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina


The aim of the present study was to describe dietary patterns in a representative sample from Puna and Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina. A cross-sectional nutritional survey was carried out in a representative sample (n 1236) of individuals from these regions. For the present study, only children aged 2–9 years (n 360), adolescents aged 10–18 years (n 223) and adults aged 18 years or over (n 465) were considered. Breast-fed children, pregnant women and lactating women were excluded. Dietary data collection methods comprised one 24 h recall and a semi-quantitative FFQ. We used principal component (PC) analyses to identify prevailing dietary patterns. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the determinants of the identified dietary patterns. Two dominant PC were identified: PC1 reflected a ‘Western-like’ diet with an emphasis on not-autochthon foods. This pattern tended to be present in urban areas of the Quebrada region and was associated with a younger age, a higher level of development, and a worse diet quality. PC2 reflected an ‘Andean-like’ diet including a variety of autochthon crops. This was preferred by individuals living in rural areas from Puna with a high level of development during the post-harvest season, and was associated with a greater diet quality. These results suggest that the nutrition transition phenomenon is a reality in certain sectors of this population and might be one of the leading causes of the observed double burden of malnutrition.

(Received December 15 2006)

(Revised June 06 2007)

(Accepted June 19 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Josep A. Tur, fax +34 971 173184, email


Abbreviations: HSS, household status score; PC, principal component