ABOUT THE PROJECT
Obesity is growing at an alarming rate in Latin America. Lifestyle behaviours such as physical activity and dietary intake have been largely associated with obesity in many countries; however studies that combine nutrition and physical activity assessment in representative samples of Latin American countries are lacking. The Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health/Estudio Latinoamericano de Nutrición y Salud (ELANS)
It is a multicenter cross-sectional nutrition and health surveillance study of a nationally representative sample of urban populations from eight Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela). The study aims to (1) provide up-to-date reliable and comparable data of dietary intake, physical activity, and its association with anthropometric profile among representative urban populations of eight Latin American countries; (2) measure variation in overweight, dietary intake and physical activity by region, cultural background, socioeconomic status, age and gender; (3) add new scientific-based evidence to describe the interplay among energy intake, energy expenditure, and anthropometric measurements. Our overarching hypothesis is that the relationships between dietary and physical activity profiles will differ across countries and across different environmental settings.
A standard study protocol was designed to evaluate the nutritional intakes, physical activity levels, and anthropometric measurements of more than 9000 enrolled participants. The study was based on a complex, multistage sample design and the sample was stratified by gender, age (15 to 65 years old) and socioeconomic level. A small-scale pilot study was performed in each country to test the procedures and tools.
This study provides valuable information and a unique dataset regarding Latin America that will enable cross-country comparisons of nutritional statuses that focus on energy and macro- and micronutrient intakes, food patterns, and energy expenditure.
The ELANS field work was originally supported by a scientific grant from the Coca Cola Company (Atlanta, GA, USA) and by grants and/or support from the ILSI Argentina, Instituto Pensi/Hospital Infantil Sabara, Universidad de Costa Rica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Colombia, Universidad Central de Venezuela/Fundación Bengoa, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Instituto de Investigación Nutricional de Perú. The initial unrestricted grant from Coca Cola Company supported the design, data collection, field work and initial data analysis.
Latin American ILSI branches (Argentina, Brazil, Mesoamerica, South Andean and North Andean) gave their support contributing with the fees for the open access journals.
The founders had no role in the design of the study, in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data, in the writing, any of the manuscripts, and in the decision to publish the results. The main researchers of ELANS are the only ones responsible for the scientific information that is published.
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The ELANS study has been developed in compliance with Good Publication Practices (GGP3, Battisti et al, 2015) . ELANS results have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented in scientific congresses and meetings. It has been endorsed by Federal agencies and professional nutrition and food science societies, and cited broadly throughout the scientific community.
Additionally, ELANS was performed in adherence to the 8 guideline principles recommended by the Scientific Integrity Consortium and adopted by ILSI entities: 8 Guiding Principles for Private Funding of Food Science and Nutrition Research