1Ufmg, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 2UESC, Ilhéus, Brasil, 3UFV, Viçosa, Brasil, 4USP, São Paulo, Brasil.
This study analyzed how the price of different food groups associates to the adoption of a healthy diet, based on the Brazilian Dietary Guidelines, and to per capita income distribution in the country. Methods: Data from the Brazilian Household Budget Survey from 2008/09 (550 strata; 55,570 households) were used. A Dietary Composition Inadequacy Index (DCII) was calculated from the difference between the share (%) of food groups of current and recommended diet. A hypothetical recommended diet was previously developed through linear programing and based on the Brazilian Dietary Guidelines (NOVA food classification system). The influence of food price on DCII was assessed by linear regression models of log-log type for the total population and according to income strata. Results. The price of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and ultra-processed foods presented the greatest associations to DCII. Each 1.00% increase in price of unprocessed or minimally processed foods would increase the DCII by 0.76% (towards a less healthy diet), whereas the same increase in price of ultra-processed foods would decrease the DCII by 0.70% (towards a healthy diet), especially among lower- income families (1.11%). Furthermore, each 1.00% increase in per capita income would increase the DCII by 0.30% (towards a less healthy diet). Conclusions: These findings indicate that taxation of unhealthy foods and subsidies for healthy food would lead to improvements in the dietary composition of Brazilians.
Keywords: food price, diet composition, dietary index, food consumption, household budget survey, dietary guidelines.