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Public Health Nutr. 2011 Sep;14(9):1533-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011000760. Epub 2011 May 4.

Socio-economic variables influence the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake in Brazilian adolescents: results from a population-based survey.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Av Doutor Arnaldo 715, PO Box 01246-904, São Paulo, Brazil.



To estimate the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake among adolescents and the association between socio-economic variables and nutritional status.


Cross-sectional study with a population-based sample.


The usual nutrient intake distribution was estimated using the Iowa State University method. The Estimated Average Requirement cut-off point method was used to determine the proportion of adolescents with inadequate intake for each nutrient, according to sex, income, parental educational level and nutritional status.


Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were applied in 525 male and female Brazilian adolescents aged 14-18 years.


The highest prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake was observed for vitamin E (99 % in both sexes). For male and female adolescents, the prevalence of inadequate intake was: Mg, 89 % and 84 %; vitamin A, 78 % and 71 %; vitamin C, 79 % and 53 %; and vitamin B6, 21 % and 33 %, respectively. The prevalence of inadequate intake for niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, Se, Cu and vitamin B12 was <15 %. Individuals in the lower income and lower parental educational level strata had the highest risk of having inadequate intake for P, riboflavin and vitamins A, B6 and B12. Compared with non-overweight individuals, overweight individuals had a higher risk of inadequate intake for Mg, vitamin A, P, thiamin and riboflavin.


The present study found a high prevalence of inadequate intake of nutrients that are recognised as being protective against chronic diseases. Adolescents in the lower income and lower parental educational level strata were less likely to have their nutrient intake requirements met.

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