Discretionary Foods Have a High Contribution and Fruit, Vegetables, and Legumes Have a Low Contribution to the Total Energy Intake of the Mexican Population.J Nutr. 2016 09; 146(9):1881S-7S.JN
Overweight and obesity prevalences in Mexico are among the highest in the world, with dietary factors being the third-leading category of risk contributing to the burden of disease. Consequently, studying the compliance of the Mexican population to food-based dietary recommendations is essential for informing nutritional policies.
We described the energy contribution of food groups to total dietary energy intake of the Mexican population and by sociodemographic subgroups and compared these results with Mexican dietary recommendations.
Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls for participants aged ≥5 y (n = 7983) from the 2012 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey were used. Foods and beverages were classified into 8 groups (the first 6 were called "basic foods" and the last 2 "discretionary foods"), as follows: 1) cereals, 2) legumes, 3) milk and dairy, 4) meat and animal products, 5) fruit and vegetables, 6) fats and oils, 7) sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and 8) products high in saturated fat and/or added sugar (HSFAS). Recommendations were based on the Mexican Dietary Guidelines (MDG). Energy contributions from the food groups by age, sex, region, residence (rural or urban), and socioeconomic status (SES) were estimated.
The highest contribution to total energy intake came from cereals (33%) followed by HSFAS (16%), meat and animal products (14%), and SSBs (9.8%). Fruit and vegetables (5.7%) and legumes (3.8%) had the lowest contribution. Energy contribution of several food groups differed significantly between population subgroups. Overall, discretionary foods contributed more than one-quarter of total energy intake (26%) and were 13 percentage points above the maximum allowed by the recommendations, whereas the intakes of legumes and fruit and vegetables were much lower than recommended.
Our results show the need to generate a food environment conducive to a healthier diet in the Mexican population.