At-home and away-from-home dietary patterns and BMI z-scores in Brazilian adolescents

Appetite. 2018 Jan 1:120:374-380. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.09.028. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Background: Away-from-home food intake has been associated with high rates of overweight among children and adolescents. However, there are no studies comparing at-home and away-from-home eating patterns among adolescents.

Objectives: The objective of this paper was to identify at-home and away-from-home dietary patterns among adolescents in Brazil, and to evaluate the relationship between these patterns and body mass index (BMI) z-scores.

Design: Data from the Brazilian National Dietary Survey 2008-2009 were analyzed in this cross-sectional study. Dietary intake was assessed by completion of written food records on two non-consecutive days.

Participants/setting: Five thousand two hundred sixty-six adolescents 10-19 years of age living in urban areas of Brazil were included in the analysis.

Statistical analysis: Thirty-two food groups were examined by factor analysis, stratified by at-home and away-from-home eating. The associations between the food patterns and BMI z-scores were ascertained using linear regression analysis.

Results: In general, mean at-home food intake was greater than away-from-home food intake, but the ratio of away-from-home/at-home was greater than 30% for baked and deep-fried snacks, soft drinks, sandwiches, pizza, and desserts, and was lower than 10% for rice and beans. Three main similar dietary patterns were identified both at-home and away-from-home: the "Traditional pattern", the "Bread and Butter pattern" and the "Western pattern"; however, away-from-home patterns encompassed more overall food items. Only the at-home "Western pattern" was positively associated with BMI z-scores (β = 0.0006; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that unhealthy dietary pattern consumed at home is associated to BMI z-score, while away-from-home food consumption is not associated.

Keywords: Adolescent behavior; Feeding behavior; Food habits; Obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Snacks
  • Socioeconomic Factors