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Nutrients. 2019 Jul 15;11(7). pii: E1605. doi: 10.3390/nu11071605.

Diet Quality and Diet Diversity in Eight Latin American Countries: Results from the Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health (ELANS).

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Biochemistry department, School of Medicine, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica.
Departamento de Nutrição, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo 03178-200, Brazil.
Faculdade de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade São Judas Tadeu, São Paulo 03166-000, Brazil.
Faculty of Medicine, School of Nutrition, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Argentina, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires C1107AAZ, Argentina.
Committee of Nutrition and Wellbeing, International Life Science Institute (ILSI-Argentina), Buenos Aires C1059ABF, Argentina.
Instituto Pensi, Fundação José Egydio Setubal, Sabará Hospital Infantil, São Paulo 01239-040, Brazil.
Departamento de Pediatria, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo 04023-062, Brazil.
Centro de Estudios del Desarrollo, Universidad Central de Venezuela (CENDES-UCV)/Fundación Bengoa, Caracas 1010, Venezuela.
Departamento de Nutrición y Bioquímica, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá 110111, Colombia.
Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 17-1200-841, Ecuador.
Instituto de Investigación Nutricional, La Molina, Lima 15026, Peru.
Centro de Nutrición Molecular y Enfermedades Crónicas, Departamento de Nutrición, Diabetes y Metabolismo, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago 833-0024, Chile.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne 3004, Australia.
School of Nutrition, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica.
Biochemistry department, School of Medicine, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica.
Institute for Psychological Research & Neuroscience Research Center, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica.


This study aimed to assess diet quality score (DQS), considering healthy and unhealthy foods and nutrients, and diet diversity score (DDS) as indicators of risk of noncommunicable diseases in eight Latin American countries, and to verify the possible differences considering country, sex, age, socioeconomic, and nutritional status. A multicenter household population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted with 9218 individuals (age range 15-65 years). Sociodemographic and anthropometric data were collected. Dietary intake was measured using two non-consecutive 24-h recalls and diet quality and diversity were assessed. In the whole sample, scores were observed from 63.0% ± 9.3% to total DQS, 65.0% ± 13.6% to healthy dietary items and 60.2% ± 13.6% to unhealthy items, and 5.6 ± 1.1 out of 9 points to DDS. Women presented lower DDS compared to men (5.5 ± 1.1 vs. 5.6 ± 1.1, p < 0.001). Healthy DQS was higher as the socio-economic level increased, and unhealthy DQS was the opposite (p < 0.05). Total DQS was significantly lower only at the low socio-economic level (p < 0.05). Chile and Venezuela showed the lowest healthy (62.2 ± 15.2 and 61.9 ± 11.7, p < 0.05) and total DQS (61.4 ± 10.3, 61.2 ± 8.7, p < 0.05). No effects were observed when considering the age and anthropometric measurements. Promoting consumption of a diverse and high-quality diet is an essential challenge to accomplish.


Latin America; cross-sectional study; diet diversity; diet quality; nutrition; nutrition assessment; survey

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