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Intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugars by the Brazilian population: an indicator to evaluate diet quality



In recent decades, changes in the diet of Brazilians have been characterized by increased consumption of high energy-dense foods, rich in fat and sugar. This study was aimed at assessing diet quality based on the intake of foods with high content of solid fat and added sugars (SoFAS).


The first Brazilian National Dietary Survey (2008–2009) is a nationwide representative cross-sectional study that collected food records from 34,003 ≥ 10-year-old individuals. A receiver-operating characteristic curve was used to determine the limit that would identify diets with high SoFAS content.


The limit of 45% of total dietary energy provided by SoFAS was adopted to classify diets with excessive content. The SoFAS provided 53% of daily energy intake to adolescents, 49% to adults, and 48% to the elderly. A high intake of SoFAS was found in 64.7% of adolescents, 59.1% of adults, and 57.8% of the elderly. The contribution of SoFAS to daily energy intake increased with income in all age groups. Those with high consumption of SoFAS had higher intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, cookies and cakes, processed meats, chips, candy and chocolate, and sandwiches and snacks, when compared with those that had moderate SoFAS intake (<45% of daily energy).


The 45% cutoff point for the contribution of SoFAS foods to total energy intake, utilized to classify low-quality diets, allowed to point out the high-risk profile of the Brazilian diet.

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This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq—Process 480296/2007-3).

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LSM and PRMR contributed to data analysis and interpretation and paper writing. RS contributed to data interpretation and paper revision. RAP contributed to the conception and design of this study, data analysis and interpretation, and paper writing and critical revision.

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Correspondence to Luana Silva Monteiro.

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Monteiro, L.S., Rodrigues, P.R.M., Sichieri, R. et al. Intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugars by the Brazilian population: an indicator to evaluate diet quality. Eur J Clin Nutr 74, 1316–1324 (2020).

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