Macronutrient Distribution and Dietary Sources in the Spanish Population: Findings from the ANIBES Study

The research ‘Macronutrient Distribution and Dietary Sources in the Spanish Population: Findings from the ANIBES Study’focuses on macronutrient intake in the diet of the sample participating in the study. In this way, the main aim was to better characterize the macronutrient excess or inadequacy, as well as to analyze food and beverage sources that currently contribute to the dietary intake of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins according to sex and age.

Deep social and economic changes occurred in our country in the last few decades, which also experienced a transition in dietary patterns and lifestyles. Some of these changes have had a potentially positive impact, such as increasing the variety of foods, access and food safety. However, globally, these changes are contradictory with adequate food selection and adherence for a healthy Mediterranean diet.

In the ANIBES study, overall protein intake was well above the upper recommended limit (set at 15 % of total energy), regardless of sex or age group. Meat and meat products group was the main source of protein for the whole ANIBES study population (33.14 %). Cereals and grains group (17,38 %) and milk and dairy products group (17,17%) ranked second and third, respectively, as protein sources.

Meanwhile, higher total carbohydrate consumption was observed in younger age groups as compared to adults and older adults and in men than in women. cereals and grains group represents the highest contribution to total carbohydrates in the diet (48.97 %), and they were followed to a much lesser extent by the groups of milk and dairy products (9.90 %), non-alcoholic beverages (8,36 %).

Considering sugar intake by food and beverage group, milk and dairy products were the main contributors, followed by non-alcoholic beverages, fruits, sugars and sweets and cereals and grains. It is important that each group is analyzed separately by subgroup due to the different type of sugars they contribute.

Dietary fiber in the ANIBES population was found in descending order to be mainly from cereals and grains group (39.90 %), vegetables group (23.67 %), fruits group (17.18 %) and pulses group (9.39 %). Moreover, values were much higher in older adults than in the youngest populations.

Oils and fats group represented the main source of lipids (32.19 %), of which olive oil subgroup accounted for 24.41 %, as well as meat and meat products group (22.52 %), followed by milk and dairy products group, with cheese as the main subgroup with a higher contribution. Sex differences were also observed, being higher in men in all age groups. Furthermore, a decreasing trend in lipid intake with advancing age is observed.

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Access to all the information of each macronutrient by age and sex