Background: Data from two population-based surveys conducted in 1995 and 2005 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were examined to determine changes in the prevalence of obesity and macronutrient intake among women according to socioeconomic level.
Methods: Weight and height were measured and food intake was based on food-frequency questionnaire. A probabilistic samples of about 1,000 women 35 years or older participated in each survey.
Results: Prevalence of obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) increased in the ten-year period (17% to 24%), as well as energy intake (2.408 to 2.912 Kcal) (p-value <0.0001). These changes were largely dependent on education, but not on income. Over the 10 year-period there was an increase of carbohydrate intake adjusted for energy, but lipid intake decreased among those women of low education, but not among the more educated ones. An overall reduction in the intake of cholesterol was also observed (273 mg vs. 212 mg; p-value <0.001).
Conclusion: In line with advertised reduction on fat intake, Brazilian women at greatest risk of obesity had a reduction of fat intake and cholesterol, and increased intake of carbohydrate. This group needs be given a clear message regarding energy reduction in order to curb the obesity epidemic.