Diet quality index for Brazilian adolescents: the ERICA study

Eur J Nutr. 2020 Mar;59(2):539-556. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01923-8. Epub 2019 Apr 8.


This study aimed to assess the dietary patterns of adolescents using a food-based diet quality index and their compliance with a healthy dietary guideline METHODS: Participants included 71,553 Brazilian adolescents (12-17 years old) from the Study of Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents (ERICA), a cross-sectional school-based multicenter study.. Dietary intake was measured by one 24-h recall. A second recall was collected in a random subsample (~ 10%) to correct within-person variability. The Diet Quality Index for Adolescents adapted for Brazilians (DQIA-BR) was used to measure the overall quality of the dietary intake. The National Cancer Institute method was applied to estimate usual dietary intake. The DQIA-BR and the distribution of its components (quality, diversity, and equilibrium) were analyzed according to sex, geographical area, and type of school RESULTS: The mean (SD) DQIA-BR scores were 14.8% (6.1%) for females and 19.0% (6.3%) for males. All analyzed strata revealed low scores of DQIA-BR and its components. The median usual intake was five to sevenfold below the recommendations for vegetables and fruits and approximately twofold below the recommendations for dairy. The highest DQIA-BR mean scores were found in the northern region [17.0% (6.4%), females; 20.7% (6.3%), males]. Adolescents in both types of schools had relatively similar median intakes of snacks (~ 85 g) and sugared drinks (~ 600 ml) CONCLUSIONS: The overall diet quality of Brazilian adolescents is inadequate based on evaluated parameters in all regions and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Keywords: Adolescents; Diet quality; Dietary index; Dietary patterns; Nutrition assessment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / methods*
  • Diet / standards*
  • Diet Surveys / methods*
  • Diet Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy