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Public Health Nutr. 2019 Jul;22(10):1777-1785. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018003890. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Ultra-processed food intake and mortality in the USA: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994).

Author information

1
1Center for Human Nutrition,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,Baltimore, MD,USA.
2
2Welch Center for Prevention,Epidemiology and Clinical Research,Department of Epidemiology,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,2024 East Monument Street,Suite 2-500,Baltimore, MD21287,USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the association between ultra-processed food intake and all-cause mortality and CVD mortality in a nationally representative sample of US adults.

DESIGN:

Prospective analyses of reported frequency of ultra-processed food intake in 1988-1994 and all-cause mortality and CVD mortality through 2011.

SETTING:

The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994).ParticipantsAdults aged ≥20 years (n 11898).

RESULTS:

Over a median follow-up of 19 years, individuals in the highest quartile of frequency of ultra-processed food intake (e.g. sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, sweetened milk, sausage or other reconstructed meats, sweetened cereals, confectionery, desserts) had a 31% higher risk of all-cause mortality, after adjusting for demographic and socio-economic confounders and health behaviours (adjusted hazard ratio=1·31; 95% CI 1·09, 1·58; P-trend = 0·001). No association with CVD mortality was observed (P-trend=0·86).

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher frequency of ultra-processed food intake was associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality in a representative sample of US adults. More longitudinal studies with dietary data reflecting the modern food supply are needed to confirm our results.

KEYWORDS:

Mortality; NOVA classification; Nutritional characteristics; Nutritional quality; Ultra-processed food

PMID:
30789115
PMCID:
PMC6554067
[Available on 2019-07-01]
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980018003890

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