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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Jun;17(6):1363-74. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013001158. Epub 2013 May 17.

Nutritional contribution of street foods to the diet of people in developing countries: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 11 Centre for the Study of Social and Environmental Determinants of Nutrition, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Sciences Research Council, PO Bag X9182, Cape Town 8000, South Africa.
  • 22 Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle Unit, Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 33 Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 44 Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 55 Functional Foods Research Unit, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville, South Africa.
  • 66 Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII), Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 77 Economic Performance and Development, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review studies examining the nutritional value of street foods and their contribution to the diet of consumers in developing countries.

DESIGN:

The electronic databases PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Proquest Health and Science Direct were searched for articles on street foods in developing countries that included findings on nutritional value.

RESULTS:

From a total of 639 articles, twenty-three studies were retained since they met the inclusion criteria. In summary, daily energy intake from street foods in adults ranged from 13 % to 50 % of energy and in children from 13 % to 40 % of energy. Although the amounts differed from place to place, even at the lowest values of the percentage of energy intake range, energy from street foods made a significant contribution to the diet. Furthermore, the majority of studies suggest that street foods contributed significantly to the daily intake of protein, often at 50 % of the RDA. The data on fat and carbohydrate intakes are of some concern because of the assumed high contribution of street foods to the total intakes of fat, trans-fat, salt and sugar in numerous studies and their possible role in the development of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Few studies have provided data on the intake of micronutrients, but these tended to be high for Fe and vitamin A while low for Ca and thiamin.

CONCLUSIONS:

Street foods make a significant contribution to energy and protein intakes of people in developing countries and their use should be encouraged if they are healthy traditional foods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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