Dietary patterns, sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics among Brazilian adolescents

ABSTRACT: Introduction: Inadequate dietary patterns in childhood and adolescence are a major risk factor for the early onset of obesity and other chronic diseases. Objectives: To identify and to analyze dietary patterns among Brazilian adolescents. Methods: Data from the Brazilian National School Health Survey (PeNSE) of 2015 were used (n = 10,926 adolescents). The identification and analyses of dietary patterns were calculated using principal component analysis and linear regression, respectively. Results: Two dietary patterns were identified. The first one was characterized by the presence of markers of unhealthy eating, and the second one by markers of healthy eating. The adherence to the unhealthy pattern was positively associated with female adolescents, which mothers had completed, at least, the elementary school, residents in developed regions and urban areas, as well as those students who usually chose to skip breakfast, to not have meals with their parents/guardians, and who usually had meals while watching TV/studying, and at fast food restaurants. Discussion: Analyses of the consumption of isolated food groups, which do not consider the diet in all its complexity, have been insufficient in explaining the main outcomes of the public health nutrition area. Conclusion: Our findings contributed to the identification of the most vulnerable population groups to unhealthy dietary patterns and to the understanding of the coexistence of different food habit determinants among adolescents.