Feeding and nutrition efforts in the context of primary healthcare in Brazil

Bortolini t al.

In Brazil, the promotion, protection, and recovery of health are among the initiatives provided by the public and universal Unified Health System (SUS). The primary healthcare level (PHC), the preferred point of access to the system, plays the role of coordinating and ordinating health care services and actions in the network. In the context of PHC, feeding and nutrition efforts must be aligned with National Feeding and Nutrition Policy (PNAN) guidelines and may be supported by feeding and nutritional surveillance actions. Data from PHC information systems and population surveys show that excess weight affects more than half the adult population of Brazil, and that consumption of ultra-processed foods is on the rise. This scenario requires that health care teams be prepared to prioritize initiatives for users with chronic diseases, using risk stratification, stabilization of the disease, and enhancement of supported self-care with a focus on diet and physical activity. At the same time, considering the country’s epidemiological profile, teams must carry out initiatives to fight undernutrition and prevent anemia and hypovitaminosis A to address the multiple burden of malnutrition. The present article describes the current scenario of feeding and nutrition initiatives implemented at the PHC level in Brazil via the SUS.

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