1Universidade Metropolitana de Santos - UNIMES, Santos, Brazil, 2Universidade Federal de São Paulo - UNIFESP, Santos, Brazil.
Background. The food intake monitoring combined with the adjustment of eating habits are key resources to promote adequate food choices. However, the assessment of nutrient intake as the main marker of diet quality may mask consumption patterns potentially associated with a risk for chronic diseases. Objective. To analyze the nutrient intake among adults and verify its association with diet quality. Design. Dietary data were estimated by 24-hour recall of a random sample of 664 adults from a cross-sectional population-based study; diet quality was assessed using the Diet Quality Index associated with Digital Food Guide; DRI reference values were used to evaluate nutrient intake. Participants. A survey conducted in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, interviewed adults aged 19-60 years, of both sexes. Main outcome measures. Nutrient intake showed weak association with diet quality. Statistical analyses performed. In the descriptive analysis, the chi-square test was used. Dietary variables were processed by the Student’s t-test and Mann-Whitney. Pearson’s linear coefficient was used to verify correlation between nutrient intake and the total index score. Results. Low quality diets were more often among men (p<0,05); for this group, nutrient intake did not differ, despite the quality of the diet. Macronutrients, fatty acids and cholesterol intake, for both men and women, and diet quality score, showed a very weak (r<0.25) or weak (0.25 - r - 0.50) correlation. Conclusions. It is possible to consume low quality diets and still meet the dietary reference intakes. The assessment of nutrient intake can compromise preventive and treatment actions and is not sufficient to identify healthy food consumption.
Keywords: nutrient intake, diet quality, adults, macronutrients, fatty acids, cholesterol.