PRESS RELEASE Brazilians beat Brits in adopting healthy eating habits. But both are reducing their carb consumption

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Brazilians are among the people most likely to use food to support positive health and wellbeing.

In a consumer survey by food consultancy New Nutrition Business, Brazilians emerged as the most interested in foods for mental well-being (42%), a proportion equalled only by consumers in Spain.

But it was a very different picture in the UK, where only 13% of consumers surveyed looked to food for a mental uplift.

In the five-country survey of more than 3,000 people, Brazilian consumers also stood out as the most interested in eating to keep their skin healthy (36%). By contrast, just 10% of British consumers said they turned to food to support healthy skin.

In fact, the UK was the least health-active of the five countries surveyed. Asked about their healthy eating behaviours, such as avoiding sugar, avoiding lactose or trying to eat more healthy fats, 35% of UK respondents said they weren’t doing any of these things.

By contrast, only 14% of Brazilians said they weren’t making any healthy eating choices.

One of the most popular healthy eating behaviours among Brazilians was reducing their carbohydrate consumption – it was the country with the biggest increase between 2018 and 2020 in the number of people cutting carbs. Australia was in second place.

“Across the five countries, the percentage of people who claim to be reducing their carb consumption increased between 2018 and 2020 – from 25.4% to 29%,” said Julian Mellentin, director of New Nutrition Business. “Change in beliefs about carbs is being driven in part by the low-carb/keto trend, which has fuelled the association between limiting carbs and weight loss.”

Across all countries, fibre is the nutrient that can do no wrong, with 29% of people saying they choose foods that are high in fibre. Brazilians again scored highest, with 42% of consumers looking for fibre.

Looking at where people get their information on healthy eating, it’s the Internet (41%) and friends and family (32%) that are the two favourite sources. Far fewer consumers in the five countries asked their doctor or a nutritionist for information on diet and health – just 19%.


  1. Data used here is taken from the newly-published consumer briefing From meatless meals to cutting carbs – a 5-country survey of consumer behaviour in the pandemic year, authored by Julian Mellentin. More information here:
  2. Editors can request comment or arrange an interview by contacting: North America - Dale Buss at or +1 248/953-2701 or Marta Matvijev at
  3. Julian Mellentin is a consultant specialising in the international business of food, nutrition and health. He is director of New Nutrition Business, which provides expert consultancy services to agriculture, ingredient and branded product companies on all aspects of nutrition and health, focusing on concrete, implementable strategies. New Nutrition Business’ monthly publication provides case studies and analysis of success and failure in the global nutrition business and is used by companies in 42 countries. Find out more at