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Curr Nutr Rep. 2019 Jun;8(2):145-166. doi: 10.1007/s13668-019-0261-6.

Brazilian Children's Dietary Intake in Relation to Brazil's New Nutrition Guidelines: a Systematic Review.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, 01246-904, Brazil.
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, 01246-904, Brazil.
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatric, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.



This systematic review reports the latest scientific evidence, from cross-sectional and cohort studies, describing the dietary intake of children and adolescents from Brazil. The goal of the review was to describe intakes according to Brazil's new food classification system (NOVA) which classifies foods according to the degree of processing, i.e., unprocessed/minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed food, and ultra-processed food. Due to a paucity of data using the NOVA classification system, studies with other intake descriptors were included.


Results using the NOVA system showed a somewhat high intake of (ultra-)processed items, than of minimally processed items. Studies using other methods of dietary assessment showed not only high intake of sources rich in fat, sugar, and sodium, most of them processed items (e.g., savory snacks and sweets) but also intake of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Overall, the literature was marred by inconsistencies and variation in study definitions and methods making it hard to make firm conclusions regarding the dietary intake of Brazilian children. The development of tools to evaluate the complexities of dietary intake is much needed. Such a tool needs to be accepted and adopted by numerous study groups, to describe dietary status among Brazilian children and devise the most effective, and to evaluate the success of nutrition education programs.


Adolescents; Brazil; Children; Diet; NOVA; Review


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