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Sociodemographic, anthropometric and behavioural risk factors for ultra-processed food consumption in a sample of 2–9-year-olds in Brazil

  • Laís Amaral Mais (a1), Sarah Warkentin (a1), Juliana Bergamo Vega (a1), Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira Latorre (a2), Susan Carnell (a3) and José Augusto de Aguiar Carrazedo Taddei (a1)...



The present study aimed to identify food patterns among 2–9-year-olds and investigate sociodemographic, anthropometric and behavioural predictors of less healthy dietary patterns.


Cross-sectional study. Parents of 2–9-year-olds completed an FFQ and factor analysis was applied to identify dietary patterns. Parents also completed questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, anthropometric and behavioural characteristics of parents and children, including parental feeding practices.


Participants were recruited from private schools of Campinas and São Paulo, SP, Brazil, between April and June 2014.


Parents of 2–9-year-olds (n 929).


Two dietary patterns emerged: ‘traditional food’ and ‘ultra-processed food’. Lower maternal education (OR=2·05, P=0·010) and higher maternal weight status (OR=1·43, P=0·044) were associated with a greater likelihood of the ultra-processed food pattern. Lower perceived parental responsibility for adequacy of food group intake (OR=2·41, P=0·020), and lower scores on the parental feeding practices of ‘Healthy Eating Guidance’ (OR=1·83, P<0·001) and ‘Monitoring’ (OR=2·52, P<0·001), were also associated with the presence of this pattern, as was higher child’s screen use during mealtimes (OR=1·61, P=0·004).


The present study is the first to evaluate associations between less healthy dietary patterns of Brazilian 2–9-year-olds and parental feeding practices. Our findings highlight sociodemographic, anthropometric and behavioural factors within families that could be used to target tailored policies to at-risk populations.

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