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Public Health Nutr. 2018 Jan;21(1):148-159. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017001331. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Consumption of ultra-processed foods and body fat during childhood and adolescence: a systematic review.

Author information

1
Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology,Federal University of Pelotas,Rua Marechal Deodoro 1160 - 3º andar,Pelotas, RS,CEP 96020-220,Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the available literature on the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and body fat during childhood and adolescence.

DESIGN:

A systematic review was conducted in the PubMed, Web of Science and LILACS databases. Studies that evaluated the association between consumption of ultra-processed food (exposure) and body fat (outcome) during childhood and adolescence were eligible.

SUBJECTS:

Healthy children and adolescents.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six studies that evaluated groups of ultra-processed foods (such as snacks, fast foods, junk foods and convenience foods) or specific ultra-processed foods (soft drinks/sweetened beverages, sweets, chocolate and ready-to-eat cereals) were selected. Most of the studies (n 15) had a cohort design. Consumption was generally evaluated by means of FFQ or food records; and body composition, by means of double indirect methods (bioelectrical impedance analysis and skinfolds). Most of the studies that evaluated consumption of groups of ultra-processed foods and soft drinks/sweetened beverages found positive associations with body fat.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our review showed that most studies have found positive associations between consumption of ultra-processed food and body fat during childhood and adolescence. There is a need to use a standardized classification that considers the level of food processing to promote comparability between studies.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Body fat; Childhood; Obesity; Ultra-processed foods

PMID:
28676132
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980017001331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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