Ultra-processed food consumption, socio-demographics and diet quality in Australian adults
journal contributionposted on 2022-01-01, 00:00 authored by L Marchese, Katherine LivingstoneKatherine Livingstone, Julie Woods, Kate WingroveKate Wingrove, Priscila MachadoPriscila Machado
AbstractObjective:To examine how socio-demographic characteristics and diet quality vary with consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) in a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of Australian adults.Design:Using a 24-h recall, this cross-sectional analysis of dietary and socio-demographic data classified food items using the NOVA system, estimated the percentage of total energy contributed by UPFs and assessed diet quality using the Dietary Guideline Index (DGI–2013 total and components). Linear regression models examined associations between socio-demographic characteristics and diet quality with percentage of energy from UPF.Setting:Australian Health Survey 2011–2013.Participants:Australian adults aged ≥ 19 years (n 8209).Results:Consumption of UPF was higher among younger adults (aged 19–30 years), adults born in Australia, those experiencing greatest area-level disadvantage, lower levels of education and the second lowest household income quintile. No significant association was found for sex or rurality. A higher percentage of energy from UPF was inversely associated with diet quality and with lower DGI scores related to the variety of nutritious foods, fruits, vegetables, total cereals, meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans, water and limits on discretionary foods, saturated fat and added sugar.Conclusions:This research adds to the evidence on dietary inequalities across Australia and how UPF are detrimental to diet quality. The findings can be used to inform interventions to reduce UPF consumption and improve diet quality.