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Brazilian Food Pyramid

Philippi, Sonia Tucunduva PhD


A different version of the Food Pyramid was required because in Brazil food availability, consumption patterns, cooking methods, and eating habits differ from those in America. The increase of obesity in Brazil was another factor that required a specific food guide for Brazilians that would be an efficient instrument for nutrition education. The pyramid is composed of eight major food groups, and common language was used in naming groups: rice, pasta, breads, potatoes, and cassava; vegetables; fruits; milk, yogurt, and cheese; meat, poultry, fish and eggs; dry beans; fats and oils; sugar and sweets. The size of the servings was determined by the consumption pattern and Brazilian food availability. The Brazilian pyramid, which emphasizes local food availability and eating habits, provides a practical icon for remembering and applying various nutrition guidelines for a healthy lifestyle.

A nutrition expert shows the secrets of healthy Brazilian fare

Sonia Tucunduva Philippi, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Sao Paulo, where she specializes in assessment of food and nutrition surveys of populations, and teaches in the graduate program in public health. She is also a member of the executive board of the Brazilian Society of Food and Nutrition.

Correspondence: Sonia Tucunduva Philippi, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health – University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.