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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)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980013001158
  • Published online: 17 May 2013
Abstract
AbstractObjective

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
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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