background: to evaluate the nutritional status in young adults with down syndrome (ds). methods: 38 persons, 15 (39.5%) women and 23 (60.5%) men (age range 16-38 years) with ds. body composition was analyzed from anthropometric parameters according to standard protocols, levels of physical activity and nutrient intake was determined using validated questionnaires: a 72 h recall and consumption food frequency questionnaire (recorded by the tutors of the participants). the following biochemical parameters were estimated: blood lipids profile (total cholesterol, hdl-cholesterol, ldl-cholesterol and triglycerides), glucose, uric acid, proteins (ferritin and transferrin), minerals (fe, zn, cu, mg and se) and vitamins (b12, b9, e, c and β-carotene). the data were statistically analysed with student t tests. results: from the 38 participants, 36.8% were overweight (bmi: 25-29.9 kg/m2) and 36.8% were obese (bmi ≥ 30 kg/m2). the bmi differed from women to men (p < 0.001) (29.1 ± 4.3 and 27.9 ± 4.6 kg/m2, respectively). the average values of the biochemical parameters, except for uric acid, both in women and men were within normal ranges. the average energy intake was 1,909 ± 337 and 2,260 ± 284 kcal/day for women and men, respectively. the contribution of proteins to total caloric intake was 18.8 and 16.3% for women and men, respectively, while carbohydrates contributed 43.3 and 45.6%, and lipids 37.9 and 38.1%. all participants were sedentary. conclusion: in this group presented a high prevalence of overweight and obesity. further research is required in the development and evaluation of appropriate intervention programs to improve their nutritional status and quality of life.