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Trends in food consumption according to the degree of food processing among the UK population over 11 years

Madruga, M., Martínez Steele, E., Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 , Levy, R. B. & Rauber, F. (2022). Trends in food consumption according to the degree of food processing among the UK population over 11 years. British Journal of Nutrition, doi: 10.1017/s0007114522003361


Although ultra-processed foods represent more than half of the total energy consumed by the UK population, little is known about the trend in food consumption considering the degree of food processing. We evaluated the trends of the dietary share of foods categorized according to the NOVA classification in a historical series (2008-2019) among the UK population. Data was acquired from the NDNS, a national survey that collects diet information through a 4-day food record. We used adjusted linear regression to estimate the dietary participation of NOVA groups and subgroups and evaluated the linear trends over the years. From 2008-2019, we observed a significant increase in the energy share of culinary ingredients (from 3.7 to 4.9% of the total energy consumed; p-trend<0.001), especially for butter and oils; and reduction of processed foods (from 9.6 to 8.6%; p-trend=0.002), especially for beer and wine. Unprocessed or minimally processed foods (≅30%, p-trend=0.505) and ultra-processed foods (≅56%, p-trend=0.580) presented no significant change. However, changes in the consumption of some subgroups are noteworthy, such as the reduction in the energy share of red meat, sausages and other reconstituted meat products as well as the increase of fruits, ready meals, breakfast cereals, cookies, pastries, buns and cakes. Regarding the sociodemographic characteristics, no interaction was observed with the trend of the four NOVA groups. From 2008 to 2019 was observed a significant increase in culinary ingredients and a reduction in processed food. Furthermore, it sheds light on the high share of ultra-processed foods in the contemporary British diet.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in a revised form in British Journal of Nutrition This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © copyright holder.
Publisher Keywords: National Diet and Nutrition Survey, food consumption, food processing, United Kingdom
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 19 April 2023 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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