Assessment of Diet Quality in Chilean Urban Population through the Alternate Healthy Eating Index
Abstract: Most worldwide causes of disease and death are strongly associated with dietary factors and the application of eating indexes has proved to be a useful tool to determine diet quality in populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diet quality in Chile through the application of the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010). A representative sample (n = 879) of Chilean urban population aged 15–65 years old from the Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health (Estudio Latinoamericano de Nutrición y Salud; ELANS) was used. Dietary intake data were obtained through two 24-hour food recalls and one beverage frequency questionnaire, which were used to calculate AHEI-2010 and its association with sociodemographic and anthropometric variables. In this Chilean sample, the AHEI-2010 score was 43.7 ± 7.8 points (mean ± SD). Trans fats and sodium intake were the highest scoring AHEI-2010 components whereas sugar-sweetened beverages and whole grains had the lowest score. Women, older subjects, and individuals in medium-high socioeconomic levels had significantly higher mean AHEI-2010 scores. No association was found between AHEI-2010 and body mass index (BMI), or nutritional status. Conclusions: Diet quality in the Chilean urban population aged 15–65 years old is far from optimal. Thus, there is room for significant improvement of diet quality in Chile through design and implementation of public health policies, particularly in high-risk groups for chronic diseases.