1 Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
Background: Poor dietary habits and obesity are prevalent in Brazilian adolescent girls from low-income socio-economic status (SES) communities. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in dietary intake in girls attending schools in low-income communities following the “Healthy Habits, Healthy Girls-Brazil” randomized controlled trial. Methods: H3G-Brazil was a 6-month randomized controlled trial based on the Social Cognitive Theory. Participated 253 [16.05, (SE 0.05) years] adolescent girls attending 10 public schools in São Paulo, Brazil (i.e., 5 intervention and control groups). Diet was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Individual foods were categorized into the eight food groups of the Brazilian Food Pyramid and calories to the total energy intake calculated. Independent t-test was conducted with alpha levels set at p≤0.05. The analyses followed intention to treat principles. Results: At baseline there were no statistically significant differences between intervention and control groups. At post-intervention differences were found for the sweets (380.87kcal (SE 18.02) vs. 438.81kcal (SE 22.49); p=0.04] and milk groups [199.77kcal (SE 12.12) vs. 269.52kcal (SE 20.28); p=0.00]. There were trends suggesting that more adolescent girls in H3GBrazil group decreased their calorie intake for snacks rich in sugar (211.28-121.25kcal vs. 277.24-160.76kcal; p=0.07) and sodium (953.49-483.54mg vs. 1127.83-604.30mg, p=0.07). Also, trend suggests that girls from H3G-Brazil increased calorie intake from veggies group (73.11-79.26kcal vs. 77.95-66.78kcal; p=0.09). Conclusions: Girls attending the H3G-Brazil enhanced their dietary intake. H3G-Brazil might serve as a model for low and middle-income countries.