High consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with increased risk of micronutrient inadequacy in children: The SENDO project
Ultraprocessed food
Healthy eating
Public health
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García-Blanco, L. (Lorena); De-la-O-Pascual, V. (Víctor); Santiago, S. (Susana); et al. "High consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with increased risk of micronutrient inadequacy in children: The SENDO project". European Journal of Pediatrics. 182 (8), 2023, 3537 - 3547
Due to its rising prevalence, which parallels that of ultraprocessed food (UPF) consumption, inadequate micronutrient intake in childhood is a public health concern. This study aimed to evaluate the association between UPF consumption and inadequate intake of 20 micronutrients in a sample of children from the Mediterranean area. Cross-sectional information from participants in the “Seguimiento del Niño para un Desarrollo Óptimo” (SENDO) project 2015–2021 was used. Dietary information was gathered with a previously validated 147-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and the NOVA system was used to classify food items. Children were classifed by tertiles of energy intake from UPF. Twenty micronutrients were evaluated, and inadequate intake was defned using the estimated average requirement as a cutof. Crude and multivariable adjusted OR (95% CI) for the inadequacy of≥3 micronutrients associated with UPF consumption were calculated ftting hierarchical models to take into account intra-cluster correlation between siblings. Analyses were adjusted for individual and family confounders. This study included 806 participants (51% boys) with a mean age of 5 years old (SD: 0.90) and an average energy intake from UPF of 37.64% (SD: 9.59). An inverse association between UPF consumption and the intake of 15 out of the 20 micronutrients evaluated was found (p<0.01). After the adjustment for individual and family confounders, compared with children in the frst tertile of UPF consumption, those in the third tertile showed higher odds of inadequate intake of≥3 micronutrients (OR 2.57; 95%CI [1.51–4.40]). Conclusion: High UPF consumption is associated with increased odds of inadequate intake of micronutrients in childhood.

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