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Two-thirds of the calories in a child’s and teen’s diet come from super-processed foods

Publicado em 10 agosto 2021

A new study at JAMA also shows that children and teens are less likely to eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods.

Children’s and adolescents’ calories consumed from ultra-processed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total calorie intake between 1999 and 2018, according to a new study by researchers at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science Policy. rice field. Published August 10, 2021 JAMAThis study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

“Some whole wheat breads and dairy products are super-processed and healthier than other super-processed foods,” said Fang Fang Zhang, senior and corresponding author of Friedman School’s nutrition epidemiologist. “But many ultra-processed foods are less healthy than unprocessed and minimally processed foods, are high in sugar and salt, low in fiber, and are concerned about increased consumption by children and teenagers. increase.”

The biggest surge in calories came from ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes such as takeaways, frozen pizzas, and burgers. It is 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second-largest spike in calories was due to packaged sweet snacks and desserts, whose consumption increased from 10.6% to 12.9%.

Consumption of super-processed foods increased significantly between non-Hispanic blacks (10.3%) and Mexican-Americans (7.6%) than non-Hispanic whites (5.2%). Trends in other racial / ethnic groups were not evaluated due to lack of sufficient data to allow nationally representative estimates throughout the survey cycle.

There was no statistically significant difference in the overall findings of parental education and family income. “The lack of disparity based on parental education and family income shows that ultra-processed foods are pervasive in children’s diets,” said Zhang. “This finding confirms the need for researchers to more closely track food consumption trends, taking into account the consumption of ultra-processed foods.”

During the study period, calories from healthier raw or minimal processed foods were often reduced from 28.8% to 23.5%. The percentage of remaining calories came from moderately processed foods such as cheese and canned fruits and vegetables, and consumer-added flavor enhancers such as sugar, honey, maple syrup and butter.

There was good news. The calories in sugared beverages decreased from 10.8% to 5.3% of the total calories and decreased by 51%.

“This finding demonstrates the benefits of collaborative campaigns over the past few years to reduce the overall consumption of sweet drinks,” said Zhang. “For other unhealthy super-processed foods such as cakes, cookies, donuts and brownies, we need to mobilize the same energy and level of commitment.”

“In an additional analysis, we used data from the 2017-2018 period to compare the composition of super-processed foods with non-super-processed foods. Super-processed foods have a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates and added sugars. Not only were they significantly higher and higher in sodium levels, but they were also found to be low in fiber and low in calories from protein, “said Lu Wang, the lead author of the study. A companion to Friedman School.

“Food processing is an aspect that is often overlooked in nutritional research. Super-processing of some foods is generally associated with health risks, regardless of the poor nutrient profile of super-processed foods. It may be necessary to consider the possibilities, “Zhang concluded.

Super processed food
Super-processed foods are high in sugar, sodium and carbohydrates, low in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, ready to eat or ready to heat. They usually contain added sugar, hydrogenated oils, and seasonings. Examples include packaged sweet snacks and desserts, sweet breakfast cereals, french fries, fast food burgers, and lunch meats such as bologna and salami. When overdose, these foods are associated with other serious medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.

This new study is part of a series led by researchers at Friedman School, investigating dietary quality patterns and trends in adults and children in the United States. The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 10 consecutive cycles of ultra-processed food consumption across US children aged 2 to 19 years from 1999 to 2018 and between population subgroups. Characterized the trend. In addition, we evaluated the nutrient profiles associated with the major ultra-processed food subgroups consumed by children in the United States during the latest NHANES cycle (2017-2018). The average age of the participants was 10.7 years, which was almost evenly divided between boys and girls. It relied on a 24-hour meal recall interview conducted by trained personnel. Older children and teens reported directly on the food they ate, but parents and guardians did so for younger children. The percentage of calories burned by participants is NOVA food classification system Developed by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Reference: August 10, 2021 JAMA..
DOI: 10.1001 / jama.2021.10238

This study was supported by Fang Fang Zhang by the National Institutes of Health’s Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (Prize R01MD011501), and the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) was awarded to co-author Eurídice Martínez Steele. .. The content is the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health. See Surveys for disclosure of conflicts of interest. Two-thirds of the calories in a child’s and teen’s diet come from super-processed foods