Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

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

Rosangela A Pereiraa1a2 c1, Kiyah J Duffeya2, Rosely Sichieria3 and Barry M Popkina2

a1 Department of Social and Applied Nutrition, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Av. Carlos Chagas Filho 373, CCS – Bloco J – 2° andar, Cidade Universitaria, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, CEP 21.941-902, Brazil

a2 Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA

a3 Department of Epidemiology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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

Design 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.

Setting Brazilian nationwide survey, 2008–2009.

Subjects Individuals aged ≥10 years old.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

(Received June 10 2012)

(Revised August 22 2012)

(Accepted October 09 2012)

(Online publication November 29 2012)


  • Food consumption;
  • Nutrient profiling;
  • Added sugar;
  • Brazil;
  • Dietary survey


c1 Corresponding author: Email