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To identify food acquisition patterns in Brazil and relate them to the sociodemographic characteristics of the household.
A cross-sectional national Household Budget Survey (HBS). Principal component factor analysis was used to derive food patterns (factors) on the basis of the acquisition of food classified into thirty-two food groups.
The source of data originates from the 2002–2003 HBS carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics between June 2002 and July 2003 using a representative sample of all Brazilian households.
A total of 48 470 households allocated into 443 strata of households that were geographically and socio-economically homogeneous as a study unit.
We identified two patterns of food acquisition. The first, named ‘dual’, was characterized by dairy, fruit, fruit juice, vegetables, processed meat, soft drinks, sweets, bread and margarine, and by inverse correlations with Brazilian staple foods. In contrast, the second pattern, named ‘traditional’, was characterized by rice, beans, manioc, flour, milk and sugar. The ‘dual’ pattern was associated with higher household educational level, income and the average age of adults on the strata, whereas the ‘traditional’ presented higher loadings in less-educated households and in the rural setting.
Dietary patterns described here suggest that policies and programmes to promote healthy eating need to consider that healthy and non-healthy foods may be integral in the same pattern.
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