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Nutritional contribution of street foods to the diet of people in developing countries: a systematic review

  • Nelia Patricia Steyn (a1), Zandile Mchiza (a2), Jillian Hill (a2), Yul Derek Davids (a3), Irma Venter (a4), Enid Hinrichsen (a4), Maretha Opperman (a5), Julien Rumbelow (a6) and Peter Jacobs (a7)...
Abstract
Abstract Objective

To review studies examining the nutritional value of street foods and their contribution to the diet of consumers in developing countries.

Design

The electronic databases PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Proquest Health and Science Direct were searched for articles on street foods in developing countries that included findings on nutritional value.

Results

From a total of 639 articles, twenty-three studies were retained since they met the inclusion criteria. In summary, daily energy intake from street foods in adults ranged from 13 % to 50 % of energy and in children from 13 % to 40 % of energy. Although the amounts differed from place to place, even at the lowest values of the percentage of energy intake range, energy from street foods made a significant contribution to the diet. Furthermore, the majority of studies suggest that street foods contributed significantly to the daily intake of protein, often at 50 % of the RDA. The data on fat and carbohydrate intakes are of some concern because of the assumed high contribution of street foods to the total intakes of fat, trans-fat, salt and sugar in numerous studies and their possible role in the development of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Few studies have provided data on the intake of micronutrients, but these tended to be high for Fe and vitamin A while low for Ca and thiamin.

Conclusions

Street foods make a significant contribution to energy and protein intakes of people in developing countries and their use should be encouraged if they are healthy traditional foods.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email npsteyn@hsrc.ac.za
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
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