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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


RATNER, Rinat; HERNANDEZ, Paulina; MARTEL, Jorge  and  ATALAH, Eduardo. A proposed new index of global food quality. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2017, vol.44, n.1, pp.33-38. ISSN 0717-7518.

Various methodologies have been proposed to assess the overall quality of diet, but there are no specific indicators in Latin America. The purpose of this work was to propose a Healthy Eating Index according to the recommendations of the Chilean Ministry of Health and to validate their application in a national sample of students. A food frequency survey with 12 variables was used: 5 healthy foods, 4 unhealthy foods and 3 main meals. Each variable was rated from 1 (less healthy) to 10 (recommended by the Ministry of Health). Total scores were used to classify diets as healthy (90-120), in need of changes (60-89) and unhealthy (<60). The questionnaire was administered to 9,452 university students and was evaluated according to sex, age and nutritional status. The median score was 65.5 (54.5 to 77.9: p25-75) and 9.2% had healthy diets, 55.3% needed changes and 35.5% had unhealthy diets, without differences by sex and modest differences by nutritional status (p< 0.05). Younger age related to an unhealthy diet (p< 0.005). The instrument is easily applied by health professionals and can be adapted to the recommendations of each country. There are serious deficiencies in diet quality among college students, regardless of their nutritional status and sex.

Keywords : Index; feeding; healthy; students; Chile.

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