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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Brazil: Public Health and Community Welfare


The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the impact that the Bolsa Família Program has on the level of food security within an impoverished community of Santo Antônio de Jesus. The issue of food security is important because a person’s overall health worsens as a result of not having access to a healthy and well balanced diet. As a result of these negative health aspects, one’s capacity to do work, learn, and take care of one’s family are all affected. This relationship between nutrition and social situations is the focus of this study, which will be used to present the ways in which a proper diet can lead to a better quality of life. The research project will examine the following questions: What type of dietary trends does the community have? How was the situation of food security before the implementation of the Bolsa Familia Program? What are the ways in which the Bolsa Familia Program help establish a higher level of food security within the adolescent population?

This study’s focus is on adolescents within the age range of 10 to 15 that attend school. The age group is important because these students are possible applicants for the Bolsa Familia Program and fall within an age that is vulnerable to unhealthy eating practices. In addition to that, an adolescent of this age needs a nutritious diet to promote a healthy rate of mental and physical development. The results for this project were obtained by means of participant observations, a questionnaire with the students, and interviews with program coordinators and local community members. The combination of these methods of research have proved that the benefits from the Bolsa Familia Program are being used in such a way that promotes both food security and adolescent development.


Public Health

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Public Health Commons


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