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Food consumption pattern and nutritional status of young Brazilians

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Maria Micheliana da Costa Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade (FEA/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Naercio Aquino Menezes Filho; Ana Luiza Neves de Holanda Barbosa; Ana Lucia Kassouf; Paula Carvalho Pereda; Priscilla de Albuquerque Tavares
Advisor: Naercio Aquino Menezes Filho

This study aims to analyze the influence of socioeconomic factors on the pattern of young\'s food consumption trends in the first decade of the 2000s and its relation to nutritional status. Therefore, it was estimated three models: a model that identifies the individual purchase of calories through the household aggregate purchase, followed by a model that relates the Body Mass Index and calorie consumption, and finally, a food demand system. The identification of the effects of caloric purchase of nutritional status, together with estimates of a demand system, contributed to obtain the degree of sensitivity of the nutritional status (represented by BMI) in relation to prices and expenditure on food. Since, for all categories examined, the quantity demanded is directly proportional to the total expenditure on food, BMI sensitivity to this variable is also positive. This explains how the increase in the purchasing power of Brazilian influences the decreasing trend in malnutrition rates and the incidence of overweight of young. The price elasticities in relation to BMI show how taxation and / or subsidies may improve nutritional status. The estimation of a more complete system, with the inclusion of healthy and unhealthy foods, allowed see the effects of various food categories, depending on how they are related. It was found that although very effective on BMI, a combined tax policy and subsidies can contribute to a more balanced diet. Moreover, the inclusion of a variable that expresses the evaluation of the type of food purchased in the household was important to show awareness regarding eating habits practiced. This variable showed that in households with satisfactory evaluation, there is a trend of consumption of unhealthy foods. For example, in poor households who always consume the desired food, the quantity demanded of soft drinks is 44% higher than those who do not always eat favorite foods. In this sense, awareness policies are needed to reduce the importance given to this type of food. It was also estimated the importance of participation in the Bolsa Família Program (PBF) for the nutritional status and food demand, since this program aims to promote food security. The direct impact of the program on children and teenagers BMI is negative and equal to 0.28 kg / m², and more effective in reducing the average BMI of individuals who are overweight situation. This effect was obtained by controlling the calorie intake, reflecting the effect of conditionality related to health care and the concern of those responsible for children and adolescents with the improvement of their life conditions. About the impact on the quantity demanded by specific categories, it emphasizes its importance for purchasing items with milk and vegetables, which are important for this stage of life. However, the preference for sweet foods is also observed since the extra monetary benefit given by the PBF also positively contributes to their consumption. Thus, we cannot affirm that the benefit contributes to an adequate diet, as this type of food exceeds the recommended consumption levels. In fact, we find that income transfer policies are ineffective because the amount received can be directed to the unhealthy consumption items. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/04205-9 - Dietary pattern and incidence of children and youth obesity in a period of poverty reduction in Brazil
Grantee:Maria Micheliana da Costa Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate