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Weight gain and reduced energy expenditure in low-income Brazilian women living in slums: a 4-year follow-up study

  • Telma M. M. T. Florêncio (a1), Nassib B. Bueno (a2), Ana P. G. Clemente (a1), Fabiana C. A. Albuquerque (a1), Revilane P. A. Britto (a1), Eduardo Ferriolli (a3) and Ana L. Sawaya (a2)...


The present study aimed to investigate the possible changes in anthropometric and biochemical parameters in low-income women living in the outskirts of Maceió (northeast Brazil), and to explore the possible role of dietary intake and physical activity in these changes. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in a cohort of mothers of malnourished children who attended the Center for Nutritional Recovery and Education, an outreach programme of the Federal University of Alagoas. Socio-economic, anthropometric, biochemical and dietary intake data were assessed at baseline and after a follow-up period of 4 years. Energy expenditure (using doubly labelled water) and physical activity (using triaxial accelerometers) were assessed only in a subgroup of women after 4 years. A total of eighty-five women were assessed. Participants showed an altered biochemical profile, increased systolic blood pressure, decreased thyroid hormone levels, and body-weight gain. However, dietary intakes of the participants did not include large quantities of highly processed and high-glycaemic index foods. The energy intake of the participants did not differ from their total energy expenditure (7990·3 (7173·7–8806·8) v. 8798·1 (8169·0–9432·4) kJ, respectively; P= 0·084). Multivariate analyses showed a significant effect of time spent watching television (β = 0·639 (0·003 to 1·275); P= 0·048) and dietary diversity score (β = − 1·039 ( − 2·010 to − 0·067); P= 0·036) on weight gain. The present study indicates that poor women, who are mothers of malnourished children and have a reasonably balanced dietary intake, exhibit weight gain and are at risk of developing chronic diseases.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: T. M. M. T. Florêncio, email


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Weight gain and reduced energy expenditure in low-income Brazilian women living in slums: a 4-year follow-up study

  • Telma M. M. T. Florêncio (a1), Nassib B. Bueno (a2), Ana P. G. Clemente (a1), Fabiana C. A. Albuquerque (a1), Revilane P. A. Britto (a1), Eduardo Ferriolli (a3) and Ana L. Sawaya (a2)...


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