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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Feb;29(2):177-184. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.11.003. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Ultra-processed food consumption and its effects on anthropometric and glucose profile: A longitudinal study during childhood.

Author information

1
Graduate Program in Health Sciences, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Electronic address: cintiadossantoscosta@terra.com.br.
2
Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health, University of Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.
3
Graduate Program in Health Sciences, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
4
School of Health, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, RS, Brazil.
5
Graduate Program in Paediatrics, Attention to Children and Adolescent Health, Brazil.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Obesity and insulin resistance development are related to known risk factors (such as diet) that begin in childhood. Among dietary factors, the consumption of ultra-processed foods has received attention. The present study investigated the association between ultra-processed foods consumption at preschool age and changes in anthropometric measurements from preschool to school age and glucose profile at school age.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The present study was a follow-up of a randomized controlled trial, conducted with 307 children of low socioeconomic status from São Leopoldo, Brazil. At ages 4 and 8 years, children's anthropometric assessments were collected from preschool to school age including body-mass index (BMI) for-age, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and skinfold. At the age 8 years, blood tests were performed to measure glucose profile. Dietary data were collected through 24-h recalls and the children's ultra-processed food intake was assessed. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between ultra-processed food consumption and the outcomes. The percentage of daily energy provided by ultra-processed foods was 41.8 ± 8.7 (753.8 ± 191.0 kcal) at preschool age and 47.8 ± 8.9 (753.8 ± 191.0 kcal) at school age, on average. The adjusted linear regression analyses showed that ultra-processed food consumption at preschool age was a predictor of an increase in delta WC from preschool to school age (β = 0.07; 95%CI 0.01-0.14; P = 0.030), but not for glucose metabolism.

CONCLUSION:

Our data suggest that early ultra-processed food consumption played a role in increasing abdominal obesity in children. These results reinforce the importance of effective strategies to prevent the excessive consumption of ultra-processed foods, especially in early ages.

KEYWORDS:

Child nutrition; Insulin resistance; Longitudinal studies; Ultra-processed foods; Waist circumference

PMID:
30660687
DOI:
10.1016/j.numecd.2018.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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