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Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050587

Ultra-Processed Food Consumption and Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases-Related Dietary Nutrient Profile in the UK (2008–2014)

1
Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
2
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
3
Department of Public Policies and Public Health, Federal University of São Paulo, Santos 11015-020, Brazil
4
Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W6 8RP, UK
5
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 01246-903, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract

We described the contribution of ultra-processed foods in the U.K. diet and its association with the overall dietary content of nutrients known to affect the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Cross-sectional data from the U.K. National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–2014) were analysed. Food items collected using a four-day food diary were classified according to the NOVA system. The average energy intake was 1764 kcal/day, with 30.1% of calories coming from unprocessed or minimally processed foods, 4.2% from culinary ingredients, 8.8% from processed foods, and 56.8% from ultra-processed foods. As the ultra-processed food consumption increased, the dietary content of carbohydrates, free sugars, total fats, saturated fats, and sodium increased significantly while the content of protein, fibre, and potassium decreased. Increased ultra-processed food consumption had a remarkable effect on average content of free sugars, which increased from 9.9% to 15.4% of total energy from the first to the last quintile. The prevalence of people exceeding the upper limits recommended for free sugars and sodium increased by 85% and 55%, respectively, from the lowest to the highest ultra-processed food quintile. Decreasing the dietary share of ultra-processed foods may substantially improve the nutritional quality of diets and contribute to the prevention of diet-related NCDs. View Full-Text
Keywords: food processing; ultra-processed; diet quality; United Kingdom food processing; ultra-processed; diet quality; United Kingdom
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rauber, F.; da Costa Louzada, M.L.; Steele, E.M.; Millett, C.; Monteiro, C.A.; Levy, R.B. Ultra-Processed Food Consumption and Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases-Related Dietary Nutrient Profile in the UK (2008–2014). Nutrients 2018, 10, 587.

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