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Snacking Is Prevalent in Mexico


Duffey, Kiyah J.; Rivera, Juan A.; & Popkin, Barry M. (2014). Snacking Is Prevalent in Mexico. Journal of Nutrition, 144(11), 1843-1849. PMCID: PMC4195421


BACKGROUND: Snacking has increased globally, but little is known about how Mexicans consume foods outside meals.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and patterns of snacking behavior among Mexicans.
METHODS: We used data from children and adults (aged >/=2 y; n = 9937) from the Mexican National Nutrition Survey 1999 and the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHNS) 2012 to examine the prevalence of snacking as well as amount (kcal) and contribution of snacks to total energy intake per day. Snacking was defined as eating outside of the 3 main meals. We calculated per capita (among the total population) and per consumer ("snackers") estimates of the number of snacks per day, kilocalories per snack, kilocalories per day from snacks, and the percentage of energy from snacks. Top foods consumed during snack occasions were also examined for the NHNS 2012. All results were weighted to account for survey design and to be nationally representative.
RESULTS: In 2012, an estimated 73% of the population consumed snacks on a given day, with estimates ranging from 70% among >/=59 y olds to 77% among 2-11 y olds. An average of 1.6 snacks/d were consumed by the population. This value was slightly higher (2.1 snacks/d) among snackers. Snacks provided an average of 343 kcal/d per snacker (17% of total energy/d). Fruit was the most commonly consumed snack food by all ages except for 12-18 y olds. Salty snacks, sweet snacks, sugar-sweetened beverages, and milk were frequently in the top 5 categories across age groups. Differences were observed between age groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Snacking is prevalent in the Mexican population. Many, but not all, of the foods consumed during snack occasions are foods considered "foods to limit" in the United States.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Nutrition


Duffey, Kiyah J.
Rivera, Juan A.
Popkin, Barry M.