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Ultra-processed foods and health outcomes: a narrative review

Elizabeth, Leonie, Machado, Priscilla, Zinöcker, Marit, Baker, Phillip and Lawrence, Mark 2020, Ultra-processed foods and health outcomes: a narrative review, Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 1-33, doi: 10.3390/nu12071955.


Title Ultra-processed foods and health outcomes: a narrative review
Author(s) Elizabeth, Leonie
Machado, Priscilla
Zinöcker, Marit
Baker, PhillipORCID iD for Baker, Phillip orcid.org/0000-0002-0802-2349
Lawrence, MarkORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-3983
Journal name Nutrients
Volume number 12
Issue number 7
Start page 1
End page 33
Total pages 33
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-06
ISSN 2072-6643
Keyword(s) NOVA
dietary patterns
food processing
health outcomes
obesity
ultra-processed food
Summary The nutrition literature and authoritative reports increasingly recognise the concept of ultra-processed foods (UPF), as a descriptor of unhealthy diets. UPFs are now prevalent in diets worldwide. This review aims to identify and appraise the studies on healthy participants that investigated associations between levels of UPF consumption and health outcomes. This involved a systematic search for extant literature; integration and interpretation of findings from diverse study types, populations, health outcomes and dietary assessments; and quality appraisal. Of 43 studies reviewed, 37 found dietary UPF exposure associated with at least one adverse health outcome. Among adults, these included overweight, obesity and cardio-metabolic risks; cancer, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; irritable bowel syndrome, depression and frailty conditions; and all-cause mortality. Among children and adolescents, these included cardio-metabolic risks and asthma. No study reported an association between UPF and beneficial health outcomes. Most findings were derived from observational studies and evidence of plausible biological mechanisms to increase confidence in the veracity of these observed associations is steadily evolving. There is now a considerable body of evidence supporting the use of UPFs as a scientific concept to assess the ‘healthiness’ of foods within the context of dietary patterns and to help inform the development of dietary guidelines and nutrition policy actions.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/nu12071955
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30139845

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.