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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


GUEVARA-VILLALOBOS, Daniela et al. Food habits of urban Costa Rican population. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2019, vol.61, n.4, pp.152-159. ISSN 0001-6002.


It is known that poor eating habits contribute to the onset of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes mellitus, among others, however there is no recent information regarding the diet of the urban population in Costa Rica. The objective of this study was to analyze the dietary habits of the Costa Rican population included in the Latin American Nutrition and Health Study (ELANS).


A sample of 798 participants between 15 and 65 years of urban areas of Costa Rica was included. The average daily consumption of food and the frequency per meal time were determined according to sex, age group and socioeconomic level.


The most consumed food groups at breakfast were coffee and bread, in the morning snack fruits, in the afternoon snack coffee and bread and at lunch and dinner white rice, sweetened beverages and legumes. Some differences were determined in the foods included in the different meal times between according to sex, age group and socioeconomic status of the participants.


The dietary habits of the Costa Rican population were characterized by having little variety, a high consumption of coffee, bread, white rice and sweetened beverages and insufficient consumption of legumes, fruits, non-starchy vegetables and fish. This information can be used for the implementation of nutritional programs aimed at improving eating habits in the country.

Keywords : Food habits; food intake; meal times.

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