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Prevalence and Energy Intake from Snacking in Brazil: Analysis of the First Nationwide Individual Survey


Duffey, Kiyah J.; Pereira, Rosangela Alves; & Popkin, Barry M. (2013). Prevalence and Energy Intake from Snacking in Brazil: Analysis of the First Nationwide Individual Survey. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(8), 868-874. PMCID: PMC3786113


Background/Objectives: Snacking has increased globally. We examine snacking patterns and common snack foods in Brazil. Subjects/Methods: Data from the first of two non-consecutive food diaries from 34,003 individuals (aged greater than or equal to 10 years) in the first Brazillian nationally representative dietary survey (2008–2009) were used. Meals were defined as the largest (kcal) eating event reported during select times of the day (Breakfast, 0600–1000 hours; Lunch, 1200–1500 hours; Dinner, 1800–2100 hours); all other eating occasions were considered snacks. We estimate daily energy intake, percentage of persons consuming snacks, number of daily snacks and per capita and per consumer energy from snacks (kcal/day, kcal/snack and % of daily energy from snacks). Results: In all, 74% of Brazilians (greater than or equal to10 years) snacked, reporting an average 1.6 snacks/day. Also, 23% of the sample were heavy snackers (greater than or equal to3 snacks/day). Snacking accounted for 21% of daily energy intake in the full sample but 35.5% among heavy snackers. Compared with non-snackers (1548 kcal/day), light (1–2 snacks/day) and heavy snackers consumed more daily energy (1929 and 2334 kcal/day, respectively). Taking into account time of day, the largest percentage of persons reported afternoon/early evening snacking (1501–1759 hours, 47.7%). Sweetened coffee and tea, sweets and desserts, fruit, sugar-sweetened beverages, and high-calorie salgados (fried/baked dough with meat/cheese/vegetable) were the top five most commonly consumed snacks. Differences were observed by age groups. Trends in commercial sales were observed, especially for sugar-sweetened beverages. Conclusions: Many commonly consumed snack foods in Brazil are classified, in the US, as being high in solid fats and added sugars. The public health impact of snacking in Brazil requires further exploration.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition


Duffey, Kiyah J.
Pereira, Rosangela Alves
Popkin, Barry M.