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Appetite. 2019 Apr 1;135:137-145. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.11.005. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Exploring the consumption of ultra-processed foods and its association with food addiction in overweight children.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil. Electronic address: andrea.filgueiras@gmail.com.
2
Department of Physiology, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil.
4
Department of Public Policies and Collective Health, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil.
5
Department of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil.

Abstract

The present study explored the consumption of ultra-processed foods and its association with food addiction in overweight children. The prevalence of food addiction was investigated using the Yale Food Addiction Scale for Children in overweight 9-11 year-old children (BMI/age ≥1 Z score) of both sexes from two schools (n = 139). Food intake was estimated by a food frequency questionnaire and the food items were classified into 4 categories: minimally processed, culinary ingredients, processed foods and ultra-processed foods (UPF), based on their degree of processing. Among the children, 95% showed at least one of the seven symptoms of food addiction and 24% presented with a diagnosis of food addiction. In analysis of covariance adjusted for age and sex, a tendency of higher consumption of added sugar (refined sugar, honey, corn syrup) and UPF was found among those diagnosed with food addiction. Multiple logistic regression adjusted for sugar, sodium and fat ingestion showed that consumption of cookies/biscuits (OR = 4.19, p = 0.015) and sausages (OR = 11.77, p = 0.029) were independently associated with food addiction. The identification of foods that may be associated with addictive behavior is very important for correctly treating and preventing childhood obesity, which continues to be one of the greatest health problems in the world.

KEYWORDS:

Behavioral addictions; Children; Food addiction; Food intake; Overweight; Yale food addiction scale

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