Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MENDONCA, Cristina Pinheiro and ANJOS, Luiz Antonio dos. Dietary and physical activity factors as determinants of the increase in overweight/obesity in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.3, pp. 698-709. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000300006.
Data from Brazilian national surveys conducted since the 1970s have indicated an increase in the prevalence of overweight/obesity. The two most frequently cited causes of this trend have been dietary changes and reduction in physical activity, characterizing a "contemporary Western lifestyle". The objective of this paper is to identify and assess some indicators associated with changes in eating habits and physical activity patterns in the Brazilian population in the last 30 years. Despite the lack of detailed data, the following factors appear to play an important role in the process: internal migration; dining out; increased consumption of fast food; labor changes; transportation; and the use of home appliances. More information on dietary and physical activity patterns in association with anthropometric data on the Brazilian population are needed for a better understanding of each factor's role in these relationships. Meanwhile, inter-sector programs and projects with well-defined targets and outcomes are needed for the population's adherence to a healthier lifestyle, in order to control the increase in overweight/obesity.
Keywords : Obesity; Food Habits; Physical Activity.