Prevalence and energy intake from snacking in Brazil: analysis of the first nationwide individual survey.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug; 67(8):868-74.EJ
Snacking has increased globally. We examine snacking patterns and common snack foods in Brazil.
Data from the first of two non-consecutive food diaries from 34,003 individuals (aged ≥ 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).
In all, 74% of Brazilians (≥ 10 years) snacked, reporting an average 1.6 snacks/day. Also, 23% of the sample were heavy snackers (≥ 3 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.
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.