Sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics in relation to dietary patterns among young Brazilian adults

Maria Teresa A Olinto, Walter C. Willett, Denise P. Gigante, Cesar G. Victora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective To identify dietary patterns among young adults and the relationships with socio-economic, demographic and lifestyle characteristics.Design Population-based, cross-sectional analysis of a cohort study. Food intake was assessed by a frequency questionnaire, and dietary patterns were identified using principal components analysis.Setting Southern Brazil.Subjects A total of 4202 men and women aged 23 years, who participated in the 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study.Results Five dietary patterns were identified: common Brazilian, processed food, vegetable/fruit, dairy/dessert and tubers/pasta. Subjects who had low own or maternal educational levels, low social position or who were always poor throughout life had high adherence to the common Brazilian dietary pattern. In contrast, the processed food pattern was more likely to be followed by those belonging to middle and high social position and who were never poor. Men and smokers showed high adherence to the processed food and common Brazilian dietary patterns. Vegetable/fruit pattern was more likely to be followed by women and subjects engaged in physical activity. Women also showed high adherence to the dairy/dessert pattern.Conclusions Our study among young Brazilian adults has identified distinct dietary patterns that are clearly influenced by socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics, which have important policy implications in a country with marked social and economic inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary patterns
  • Food intake
  • Socio-economic factors
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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