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Ultra-processed foods drive to unhealthy diets: Evidence from Chile
Assess the consumption of ultra-processed foods and its association with the overall dietary content of nutrients related to non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the Chilean diet and to estimate the population attributable fraction of ultra-processed food consumption on the unhealthy nutrient content.
In Chile, ultra-processed foods represented 28·6 % of the total energy intake. A significant positive association was found between the dietary share of ultra-processed foods and NCD-promoting nutrients such as dietary energy density (standardised regression coefficient (_) = 0·22), content of free sugars (_ = 0·45), total fats (_ = 0·26), saturated fats (_ = 0·19), trans fats (_ = 0·09) and Na:K ratio (_ = 0·04), while a significant negative association was found with the content of NCD-protective nutrients such as K (_ = –0·19) and fibre (_ = –0·31). The content of Na (_ = 0·02) presented no significant association. Except for Na, the prevalence of inadequate intake of all nutrients (WHO recommendations) increased across quintiles of the dietary share of ultra-processed foods. With the reduction of ultra-processed foods consumption to the level seen among the 20 % lowest consumers (3·8 % (0–9·3 %) of the total energy from ultra-processed foods), the prevalence of nutrient inadequacy would be reduced in almost three-fourths for trans fats; in half for energy density (foods); in around one-third for saturated fats, energy density (beverages), free sugars and total fats; in near 20 % for fibre and Na:K ratio and in 13 % for K.
Cediel G, Reye M, Corvalán C, Levy RB, Uauy R, et. al.
Public Health Nutrition