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      Representações sobre consumo alimentar e suas implicações em inquéritos alimentares: estudo qualitativo em sujeitos submetidos à prescrição dietética Translated title: Representations on food intake and its implications in nutritional investigations: qualitative study with subjects submitted to dietary prescriptions


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          OBJETIVO: Apresentar e discutir o caráter flexível que emergiu nos relatos sobre consumo alimentar em estudo qualitativo para avaliar práticas alimentares de pessoas submetidas a tratamento dietético por serem hipertensas e o impacto da preocupação com a saúde nestas. Os relatos de consumo alimentar foram analisados como representações sociais e se discutiu as implicações destas em inquéritos dietéticos. MÉTODOS: Em visita domiciliar foram entrevistados 30 hipertensos, sendo 15 de baixa renda e 15 de classe média. Para obtenção de informações sobre consumo alimentar foram aplicados os métodos recordatório alimentar de 24 horas, associado à história dietética e a um questionário de freqüência alimentar, no contexto de uma entrevista em profundidade semi-estruturada. As entrevistas foram gravadas, transcritas e analisadas em seu conteúdo. RESULTADOS: Situadas entre o discurso e as práticas, as representações expressaram flutuações e contradições sobre o consumo alimentar. Tais representações foram agrupadas em categorias apresentadas como: irregularidade da presença do alimento e das compras; modo de consumo conforme o tipo de alimento; variação do número de comensais; indução das respostas provocada pela busca de informações precisas por parte do entrevistador; falta de memória do entrevistado; imprecisão e contrariedade de relatos sobre consumo alimentar; uso de noções quantitativas cujos valores de referência são particulares ao sujeito e presença de terceiros testemunhando a entrevista. A estratégia metodológica utilizada permitiu observar que há menos precisão nas informações sobre consumo alimentar do que o esperado, por serem estas representações sociais, ou seja, construções mentais da realidade. Os resultados também sugerem que a abordagem da alimentação de sujeitos submetidos à prescrição dietética por meio de inquéritos alimentares pode ser insuficiente para conhecer suas práticas alimentares.

          Translated abstract

          OBJECTIVE: The objective of this qualitative study was to present and discuss the flexible characteristics emerging from reports on food intake of patients submitted to dietary treatment for hypertension control and the impact of anxiety on their health. Food intake reports were analyzed as social representations and their implications in nutritional investigations were discussed. METHODS: Thirty hypertensive subjects were interviewed by means of home visits; 15 were low-income and 15 were middle-class individuals. The 24-hour diet recall method was used to obtain information on food intake, in association with diet history and a questionnaire on meal frequency, in the context of semi-structured in-depth interviews which were taped, transcribed and had their content analyzed. RESULTS: Social representations situated between theory and practice expressed fluctuations and contradictions regarding food intake. Such representations were grouped in categories such as: irregularity in food ingestion and food purchasing; intake method in accordance with the type of food served; oscillation in the number of people eating together; answers induced by the interviewer in search of accurate answers; lack of memory of the interviewed; imprecision and divergent reports on food intake; use of quantitative parameters whose reference values are sensitive to the subject and the presence of third parties witnessing the interview. The methodological strategy employed allowed the observation that there is less precision in the information on food intake than expected, as a result of its being composed of social representations, that is to say, mental constructions of reality. The results also suggest that the food inquiry approach for subjects submitted to dietary prescription may be insufficient to investigate their eating habits.

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              A European food consumption survey method--conclusions and recommendations.

              To discuss the general outcome and conclusions of a European project (EFCOSUM); to develop a method for a European food consumption survey that delivers internationally comparable data on a set of policy relevant nutritional indicators. The EFCOSUM project was carried out within the framework of the European Health Monitoring Programme by 14 Member States as well as nine other European countries. Activities of the project included plenary sessions, desk research and working group activities, building on existing experience from such projects as DAFNE, EPIC, FLAIR Eurofoods-Enfant project, COST Action 99 and others. All participating states took part in one or more working group activities, which were discussed, adapted and finally approved in plenary sessions. For a limited number of countries available food consumption data can be made comparable at the food intake level, but not at the nutrient level. To achieve comparability at the food intake level, a considerable amount of work still has to be done. A minimum list of dietary indicators considered to be the most relevant to be collected for the Health information exchange and monitoring system was identified. As the most suitable method to get internationally comparable new data on population means and distributions of actual intake the 24 h recall was selected, to be conducted at least twice. This also allows for the estimation of usual intake by a modelling technique that separates intra- and inter-individual intake. For a number of micronutrients the use of biomarkers is recommended. Aspects of food classification and food composition were discussed thoroughly, as well as statistical and data collection aspects. For the implementation of a pan-European survey the establishment of a European co-ordinating centre is recommended. The standardization of field work work procedures and other aspects of operationalization have been discussed in detail. It is concluded that there is broad European consensus on the most suitable method for a pan-European dietary survey for the purposes of the EU Health Monitoring Programme. It is further concluded that such a pan-European survey is feasible, if the funds are made available.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Revista de Nutrição
                Rev. Nutr.
                Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (Campinas )
                March 2004
                : 17
                : 1
                : 15-28
                [1 ] Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas Brazil



                SciELO Brazil

                Self URI (journal page): http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_serial&pid=1415-5273&lng=en
                NUTRITION & DIETETICS

                Nutrition & Dietetics
                food intake,food inquiry,social representation,hypertension,diet,consumo de alimentos,inquéritos nutricionais,representação social,hipertensão,dieta


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