Use of artificial sweeteners in Brazil: a household survey approach

Abstract: The objective was to estimate the prevalence of artificial sweetener use by the adult Brazilian population and users’ characteristics. Analysis of data from the Brazilian National Survey on Access, Utilization, and Promotion of Rational Use of Medicines (PNAUM, 2014), a nationwide population-based survey. The target outcome was self-reported use of sweeteners by Brazilians 20 years and older. The independent variables were sex, age, major geographic region of Brazil, schooling in complete years, and economic status according to the Brazilian Economic Classification Criterion of the Brazilian Association of Research Companies (ABEP). The health condition indicators were: self-reported noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), number of NCDs, and body mass index (BMI). Prevalence of sweetener use in the Brazilian adult population was 13.4% (95%CI: 12.5-14.3), and it was higher in females and in persons 60 years or older, in the Northeast and Southeast, among individuals from economic classes A and B, and among obese individuals. Persons with chronic diseases (especially diabetes) showed the highest prevalence of use of sweeteners, and their use increased with the number of reported comorbidities. Prevalence of use of artificial sweeteners was 13.4% and was associated with sociodemographic and health characteristics.