Content of Brazilian supermarket circulars do not reflect national dietary guidelines

Anice Milbratz De Camargo, Júlia Pitsch De Farias, Ana Claudia Mazzonetto, Moira Dean, Giovanna Medeiros Rataichesck Fiates*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research on foods advertised in supermarket circulars revealed that advertisement for foods at promotional prices influence food choices and shopping behaviour, but no paper reporting the Latin American context was identified. Furthermore, most studies only assessed the products advertised on the front pages and not in the entire circulars. This paper quantifies and categorizes, according to level of processing, the foods advertised in circulars from four Brazilian supermarket chains in order to assess their compatibility with the national dietary guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. Printed and online circulars were collected between June and July 2016. Foods items advertised were identified and classified into one of four categories using the NOVA classification as unprocessed or minimally processed, processed culinary ingredient, processed or ultra-processed. Sixteen documents were analysed, and 1786 food items identified, where 23% were categorized as unprocessed or minimally processed, and 63% as ultra-processed foods. While the mean proportion of ultra-processed and unprocessed or minimally processed foods advertised on circular covers was similar (p = 0.49), the mean proportion of ultra-processed foods advertised in the entire circular was significantly higher than unprocessed or minimally processed foods (p < 0.001). Brazilian supermarket circulars are stimulating the acquisition of ultra-processed foods, which does not encourage food choices to be in line with what is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for the Brazilian Population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1060
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 03 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • consumer behaviour
  • dietary guidelines
  • food processing
  • food retail
  • marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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