Mexico is facing the double burden of malnutrition: stunting and micronutrient deficiencies in young children, iron deficiency in pregnant women, and widespread obesity across age groups.
The aim was to summarize and discuss findings published in this supplement on dietary intakes and the eating habits of the Mexican population.
A 24-h recall questionnaire that used the multiple-pass method with a repeated measure in a fraction of the sample was applied in a nationally representative sample. We estimated mean intakes and percentages of inadequacy for macronutrients and micronutrients; mean intakes and percentages of the population who adhere to dietary recommendations for food groups; sources of added sugars; intakes of discretionary foods by mealtime, place, and activity; and mean dietary intakes in children <2 y old.
Infant formula was consumed by almost half of infants aged <6 mo and sugar-sweetened beverages were consumed by two-thirds of children aged 12-23 mo. In the different age groups, a high proportion of the population had excessive intakes of added sugars (58-85%) and saturated fats (54-92%), whereas a high prevalence of insufficient intakes was found for fiber (65-87%), vitamin A (8-70%), folates (13-69%), calcium (26-88%), and iron (46-89%). Discretionary foods (nonbasic foods high in saturated fats and/or added sugars) contributed 26% of the population's total energy intake, whereas only 1-23% met recommendations for legumes, seafood, fruit, vegetables, and dairy foods.
High proportions of Mexicans consume diets that do not meet recommendations. Breastfeeding and complementary feeding diverged from recommendations, intakes of discretionary foods were high, and the prevalence of nutrient inadequacies and age groups not meeting intake recommendations of basic food groups were also high. The results are consistent with the high prevalence of the double burden of malnutrition and are useful to design food and nutrition policies.