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BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 9;8(3):e020574. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020574.

Consumption of ultra-processed foods and associated sociodemographic factors in the USA between 2007 and 2012: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
2
Center for Epidemiological Studies in Health and Nutrition, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
3
Department of Applied Nutrition, Institute of Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare ultra-processed food consumption across sociodemographic groups and over time (2007-2008, 2009-2010, 2011-2012) in the USA.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2012.

PARTICIPANTS:

All individuals aged ≥2 years with at least one 24-hour dietary recall were included (n=23 847).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Average dietary contribution of ultra-processed foods (expressed as a percentage of the total caloric value of the diet), obtained after classifying all food items according to extent and purpose of industrial food processing using NOVA classification.

DATA ANALYSIS:

Linear regression was used to evaluate the association between sociodemographic characteristics or NHANES cycles and dietary contribution of ultra-processed foods.

RESULTS:

Almost 60% of calories consumed in the period 2007-2012 came from ultra-processed foods. Consumption of ultra-processed foods decreased with age and income level, was higher for non-Hispanic whites or non-Hispanic blacks than for other race/ethnicity groups and lower for people with college than for lower levels of education, all differences being statistically significant. Overall contribution of ultra-processed foods increased significantly between NHANES cycles (nearly 1% point per cycle), the same being observed among males, adolescents and high school education-level individuals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ultra-processed food consumption in the USA in the period 2007-2012 was overall high, greater among non-Hispanic whites or non-Hispanic blacks, less educated, younger, lower-income strata and increased across time.

KEYWORDS:

United States; diet; nutrition surveys

PMID:
29525772
PMCID:
PMC5855172
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020574
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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