Skip to main content
×
Home

Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada

  • Jean-Claude Moubarac (a1) (a2), Ana Paula Bortoletto Martins (a1), Rafael Moreira Claro (a1), Renata Bertazzi Levy (a1) (a3), Geoffrey Cannon (a4) and Carlos Augusto Monteiro (a1) (a5)...
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To investigate consumption of ultra-processed products in Canada and to assess their association with dietary quality.

Design

Application of a classification of foodstuffs based on the nature, extent and purpose of food processing to data from a national household food budget survey. Foods are classified as unprocessed/minimally processed foods (Group 1), processed culinary ingredients (Group 2) or ultra-processed products (Group 3).

Setting

All provinces and territories of Canada, 2001.

Subjects

Households (n 5643).

Results

Food purchases provided a mean per capita energy availability of 8908 (se 81) kJ/d (2129 (se 19) kcal/d). Over 61·7 % of dietary energy came from ultra-processed products (Group 3), 25·6 % from Group 1 and 12·7 % from Group 2. The overall diet exceeded WHO upper limits for fat, saturated fat, free sugars and Na density, with less fibre than recommended. It also exceeded the average energy density target of the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Group 3 products taken together are more fatty, sugary, salty and energy-dense than a combination of Group 1 and Group 2 items. Only the 20 % lowest consumers of ultra-processed products (who consumed 33·2 % of energy from these products) were anywhere near reaching all nutrient goals for the prevention of obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases.

Conclusions

The 2001 Canadian diet was dominated by ultra-processed products. As a group, these products are unhealthy. The present analysis indicates that any substantial improvement of the diet would involve much lower consumption of ultra-processed products and much higher consumption of meals and dishes prepared from minimally processed foods and processed culinary ingredients.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email jcmoubarac@gmail.com
References
Hide All
1.World Health Organization (2003) Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series no. 916. Geneva: WHO.
2.World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: AICR.
3.World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2009) Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention. Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: AICR.
4.United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition (2010) Progress in Nutrition. Sixth Report on the World Nutrition Situation. Geneva: UNSCN.
5.Institute of Medicine (2006) Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity? Washington, DC: IOM.
6.Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EBet al. (2011) Changes in diet and lifestyle and long term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med 364, 23922404.
7.Health Canada (2011) Canada's Food Guide. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php (accessed March 2012).
8.Monteiro CA, Levy RB, Claro RMet al. (2010) A new classification of foods based on the extent and purpose of their processing. Cad Saude Publica 26, 20392049.
9.Monteiro CA (2010) The big issue is ultra-processing. World Nutr 1, 237269.
10.Slimani N, Deharveng G, Southgate DATet al. (2009) Contribution of highly industrially processed foods to the nutrient intakes and patterns of middle-aged populations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, Suppl. 4, S206S225.
11.Asfaw A (2011) Does consumption of processed foods explain disparities in the body weight of individuals? The case of Guatemala. Health Econ 20, 184195.
12.Monteiro CA, Levy RB, Claro RMet al. (2011) Increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health: evidence from Brazil. Public Health Nutr 14, 513.
13.Tavares LF, Fonseca SC, Garcia Rosa MLet al. (2011) Relationship between ultra-processed foods and metabolic syndrome in adolescents from a Brazilian Family Doctor Program. Public Health Nutr (Epublication ahead of print version).
14.Ludwig DS (2011) Technology, diet, and the burden of chronic disease. JAMA 305, 13521353.
15.Monteiro CA, Gomes FS & Cannon G (2010) The snack attack. Am J Public Health 100, 975981.
16.Statistics Canada (2003) 2001 Food Expenditure Survey Public-use Microdata Files. Ottawa: Income Statistics Division of Statistics Canada.
17.Health Canada (2012) Canadian Nutrient File. http://webprod3.hc-sc.gc.ca/cnffce/index-eng.jsp (accessed March 2012).
18.Health Canada (2012) Estimated energy requirements. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fnan/food-guide-aliment/basics-base/1_1_1-eng.php (accessed March 2012).
19.Garriguet D (2007) Canadians’ eating habits. Health Rep 18, 1732.
20.Monteiro CA (2011) The big issue is ultra-processing: the price and value of meals. World Nutr 2, 271282.
21.Kessler DA (2009) The End of Overeating. Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. New York: Rodale.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 350
Total number of PDF views: 1267 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 3049 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 11th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.