Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CANUTO, Raquel et al. Focused Principal Component Analysis: a graphical method for exploring dietary patterns. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.26, n.11, pp. 2149-2156. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2010001100016.
The aim of the present study was to introduce Focused Principal Component Analysis (FPCA) as a novel exploratory method for providing insight into dietary patterns that emerge based on a given characteristic of the sample. To demonstrate the use of FPCA, we used a database of 1,968 adults. Food intake was obtained using a food frequency questionnaire covering 26 food items. The focus variables used for analysis were age, income, and schooling. All analyses were carried out using R software. The graphs generated show evidence of socioeconomic inequities in dietary patterns. Intake of whole-wheat foods, fruit, and vegetables was positively correlated with income and schooling, whereas for refined cereals, animal fats (lard), and white bread this correlation was negative. Age was inversely associated with intake of fast-food and processed foods and directly associated with a pattern that included fruit, green salads, and other vegetables. In an easy and direct fashion, FPCA allowed us to visualize dietary patterns based on a given focus variable.
Keywords : Food Consumption; Principal Component Analysis; Nutritional Epidemiology.