Information on the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) in relation to an adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) is limited. Our aim was to assess UPF consumption in a group of Italian adults and to evaluate the relationship with the MD adherence. A total of 670 participants (median age: 30 years) were included in the analysis. The consumption of UPF was assessed through the NOVA Food Frequency Questionnaire (NFFQ). Adherence to the MD was assessed through the Medi-Lite score. The percentage of UPF in the diet was 16.4% corresponding to 299 g of UPF per day. These amounts were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in men than in women and came mainly from ready-to-eat meals or pre-packaged bread, bread alternatives, pizza, frozen potato chips (24.5% of total UPF intake), pre-packaged biscuits and sweets (20.7%), soft drinks (15.8%), and dairy products such as flavored yogurt (12%). As to the MD adherence, a significant inverse association between the Medi-Lite score and the percentage of UPF in the diet (R = −0.35; p < 0.001) was observed. Participants with a low adherence to the MD had a significantly higher contribution of UPF in the diet (22.2%) compared to those with a moderate (16.2%) and high (12.6%) adherence. In terms of individual UPF, the largest difference between low and high MD adherents was observed for pre-packaged biscuits and sweets, soft and energy drinks, sausages and other reconstituted meat products, and pre-packaged bread and bread alternatives. These results suggest that public health strategies are needed to implement more effective actions to promote healthy eating habits in the population.

Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Is Inversely Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet: A Cross-Sectional Study / Dinu, Monica; Tristan Asensi, Marta; Pagliai, Giuditta; Lotti, Sofia; Martini, Daniela; Colombini, Barbara; Sofi, Francesco. - In: NUTRIENTS. - ISSN 2072-6643. - ELETTRONICO. - 14:(2022), pp. 2073-2083. [10.3390/nu14102073]

Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Is Inversely Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet: A Cross-Sectional Study

Dinu, Monica
Conceptualization
;
Tristan Asensi, Marta
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Pagliai, Giuditta
Investigation
;
Lotti, Sofia
Formal Analysis
;
Colombini, Barbara
Supervision
;
Sofi, Francesco
Writing – Review & Editing
2022

Abstract

Information on the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) in relation to an adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) is limited. Our aim was to assess UPF consumption in a group of Italian adults and to evaluate the relationship with the MD adherence. A total of 670 participants (median age: 30 years) were included in the analysis. The consumption of UPF was assessed through the NOVA Food Frequency Questionnaire (NFFQ). Adherence to the MD was assessed through the Medi-Lite score. The percentage of UPF in the diet was 16.4% corresponding to 299 g of UPF per day. These amounts were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in men than in women and came mainly from ready-to-eat meals or pre-packaged bread, bread alternatives, pizza, frozen potato chips (24.5% of total UPF intake), pre-packaged biscuits and sweets (20.7%), soft drinks (15.8%), and dairy products such as flavored yogurt (12%). As to the MD adherence, a significant inverse association between the Medi-Lite score and the percentage of UPF in the diet (R = −0.35; p < 0.001) was observed. Participants with a low adherence to the MD had a significantly higher contribution of UPF in the diet (22.2%) compared to those with a moderate (16.2%) and high (12.6%) adherence. In terms of individual UPF, the largest difference between low and high MD adherents was observed for pre-packaged biscuits and sweets, soft and energy drinks, sausages and other reconstituted meat products, and pre-packaged bread and bread alternatives. These results suggest that public health strategies are needed to implement more effective actions to promote healthy eating habits in the population.
14
2073
2083
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
Dinu, Monica; Tristan Asensi, Marta; Pagliai, Giuditta; Lotti, Sofia; Martini, Daniela; Colombini, Barbara; Sofi, Francesco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1268809
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