Characterisation of UK diets according to degree of food processing and associations with socio-demographics and obesity: cross-sectional analysis of UK national diet and nutrition survey (2008-12)
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
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Adams, J., & White, M. (2015). Characterisation of UK diets according to degree of food processing and associations with socio-demographics and obesity: cross-sectional analysis of UK national diet and nutrition survey (2008-12). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12 (160)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0317-y
Background Food processing alters food from its natural state for safety, convenience, taste or palatability. Previous research suggests that industrially processed foods, and diets high in these products, tend to be less healthful. However, most previous work is based on household, rather than individual-level, data. Little has been reported on the relationship between processed food consumption and markers of health; or on socio-demographic correlates of processed food consumption. Objective To describe: the nutritional content of foods classified according to degree of processing; the nutritional content of diets with different relative intakes of processed foods; the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals with different relative intakes of processed foods; and the association between intake of processed foods and body weight. Methods Secondary analysis of data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008-12), a large national cross-sectional study of diet. Dietary information was collected using four-day, unweighed, food-diaries. Foods were classified as: unprocessed or minimally processed (MPF; foods with no processing or mostly physical processes applied to single whole foods), processed ingredients (PI; extracted and purified components of single whole foods), or ultra-processed food products (UPF; products produced from industrial combining of MPF and PI). Results 2174 adults were included. MPF and diets high in these foods, had the most healthful nutritional profile. UPF did not necessarily have the least healthful nutritional profile, but diets high in these foods did. Women, and older adults consumed more energy from MPF, and less from UPF. Those living in lower occupation social class households consumed less energy from MPF, but no more from UPF. Only higher intake of PI was consistently, inversely, associated with body weight. Conclusions This is the first study to explore correlates of processed food consumption, using individual-level data from a large, national sample. Although higher intakes of MPF and lower intakes of UPF were associated with the most healthful dietary profiles, only intake of PI was consistently associated with body weight. Consumption of UPF varied by age and gender, but, unexpectedly, not by occupational social class. Longitudinal work is required to confirm relationships with health markers.
body weight, food supply, obesity, socioeconomic factors
This work was undertaken by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. The funders played no role in the design, conduct or interpretation of this research, or the decision to publish.
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0317-y
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/252920
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/