This study analyzed the trajectory of interests and priorities related to food security expressed in the reports of the five National Food and Nutritional Security Conferences (Conferências Nacionais de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional - CNSAN) held in Brazil between 1994 and 2015. The documentary research was systematized through content analysis with a quantitative and qualitative focus. Food security dimensions were identified in the 1,181 action proposals assessed through an analysis model consisting of 3 cross-sectional categories, 8 thematic categories, and 10 subcategories. The temporal content analysis revealed: continuous reduction in demands for “universal access to adequate food”, especially in the subcategory “employment and income”; constant predominance of the category “structuring sustainable food production and supply systems” with a progressive increase in the subcategory “incentive to agroecology-based production”; and increased demands for “prioritization of traditional peoples and communities”. The timeline suggests different contributions of the Conferences to the evolution of the debate on food security in Brazil. However, the insertion of social actors in the process of formulating the Brazilian National Food and Nutritional Security Policy did not guarantee the incorporation of the problems into the public agenda, which should be re-established and deepened in the decision-making processes. The findings attest to the importance of social participation for the theoretical and political qualification of food security in Brazil.

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