In order to assess the qualitative pattern of food consumption in urban families of Anzoátegui, Venezuela, 300 domestic groups that combined a total of 1 163 people were studied. The domestic dietary pattern was addressed by the method of qualitative frequency of food consumption, which applied a structured survey that yielded the usual frequency of intake of a food or food group over a given period. The information was obtained through an interview with the person responsible for the procurement of food in every home, and included basic data for the socioeconomic and nutritional profile of the families studied. The qualitative analysis of the diet was obtained by comparing the different food groups that constitute the actual consumption pattern of the population studied, with official feeding guidelines suggested for the Venezuelan population. The present study showed that the qualitative pattern of food consumption in the urban population evaluated is characterized by slightly adjusted to the promotion of health and control of diet-related diseases. The family food proved to be far from the guidelines established by the dietary guidelines for Venezuela and consumption patterns are fairly homogeneous in the different socioeconomic strata. The foods most consumed daily were salt, coffee, dressing and precooked corn flour as well as beef, chicken and the higher weekly food consumption pastas. 90% of the food consumed daily is technologically processed. The results contribute to increase knowledge about the food situation of the Venezuelan population, and technically could direct the efforts of the authorities to reconcile the development of the productive sector and food supply, whereas a pattern qualitatively inadequate intake directly affects the individual biological functioning, and results in the collective conditioning of unfavorable health states.

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