1School of Public Health, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil, 2Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health (NUPENS), University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil.
Introduction: Despite being the most consumed foods in Brazil, the intake of rice and beans has been decreasing over the years. Objective: We aim to evaluate the consumption of rice and beans by the Brazilian population, its association with dietary nutritional quality, and the environmental impacts of this consumption. Methods: We analyzed food consumption data of 46,164 individuals aged ≥10 years who participated in the 2017-2018 Brazilian Dietary Survey. We evaluated rice and beans consumption by caloric contribution. To evaluate diet quality, we assess inadequate intake of nutrients associated with risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including added sugar, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, dietary fiber, sodium and potassium, on a scale from zero to seven inadequacies. We estimated the environmental impacts by calculating the carbon and water footprints of the diet according to the participation of rice, beans, and both combined. Linear regression analysis was conducted, crude and adjusted for sociodemographic variables. Results: The number of inadequacies in nutrient intake decreased as the dietary share of rice and beans increased (4.64 inadequacies among individuals with the lowest intake of rice and beans versus 2.76 among individuals with the highest intake). Environmental analyses revealed that increased consumption of rice, beans, and both together, was associated with a decline in carbon and water footprints, observed in both crude and adjusted analyses (p-trend <0.001). Conclusion: The consumption of rice and beans in Brazil is associated with diets with lower intake of critical nutrients for NCDs, as well as reduced environmental impacts. The dietary pattern based on these two traditional Brazilian foods is beneficial for both health and environment. Funding: The abstract is part of the Ph.D. research funded by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP; grant 2022/11009-8).
Keywords: food consumption, traditional diet, environment, nutritional epidemiology, Brazil.