Latin American consumption of major food groups
Background The Latin American (LA) region is still facing an ongoing epidemiological transition and shows a complex public health scenario regarding non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A healthy diet and consumption of specific food groups may decrease the risk of NCDs, how- ever there is a lack of dietary intake data in LA countries. Objective Provide updated data on the dietary intake of key science-based selected food groups related to NCDs risk in LA countries. Design ELANS (Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health) is a multicenter cross-sectional study assessing food consumption from an urban sample between15 to 65 years old from 8 LA countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela).Two 24-HR were obtained from 9,218 individuals. The daily intake of 10 food groups related to NCDs risk (fruits; vegetables; legumes/beans; nuts and seeds; whole grains products; fish and seafood; yogurt; red meat; processed meats; sugar-sweetened beverages (ready- to-drink and homemade)) were assessed and compared to global recommendations. Results Only 7.2% of the overall sample reached WHO’s recommendation for fruits and vegetables consumption (400 grams per day). Regarding the dietary patterns related to a reduced risk of NCDs, among the overall sample legumes and fruits were the food groups with closer intake to the recommendation, although much lower than expected (13.1% and 11.5%, respectively). Less than 3.5% of the sample met the optimal consumption level of vegeta- bles, nuts, whole grains, fish and yogurt. Largest country-dependent differences in average daily consumption were found for legumes, nuts, fish, and yogurt. Mean consumption of SSB showed large differences between countries. Conclusion Diet intake quality is deficient for nutrient-dense food groups, suggesting a higher risk for NCDs in the urban LA region in upcoming decades. These data provide relevant and up-to- date information to take urgent public health actions to improve consumption of critically foods in order to prevent NCDs.