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Who consumes ultra-processed food? A systematic review of sociodemographic determinants of ultra-processed food consumption from nationally representative samples

Dicken, Samuel J; Qamar, Sulmaaz; Batterham, Rachel L; (2023) Who consumes ultra-processed food? A systematic review of sociodemographic determinants of ultra-processed food consumption from nationally representative samples. Nutrition Research Reviews 10.1017/S0954422423000240. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ultra-processed food (UPF) intake is associated with increased non-communicable disease risks. However, systematic reports on sociodemographic predictors of UPF intake are lacking. This review aimed to understand UPF consumption based on sociodemographic factors, using nationally representative cohorts. The systematic review was pre-registered (PROSPERO:CRD42022360199), following PRISMA guidelines. PubMed/MEDLINE searches ('ultra-processed/ultraprocessed' and 'ultra-processing/ultraprocessing') until 07/09/2022 retrieved 1,131 results. Inclusion criteria included: observational, nationally representative adult samples, in English, in peer-reviewed journals, assessing the association between sociodemographics and individual-level UPF intake defined by the NOVA classification. Exclusion criteria included: not nationally representative, no assessment of sociodemographics and individual-level UPF intake defined by NOVA. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). 55 papers were included, spanning 32 countries. All 13 sociodemographic variables identified were significantly associated with UPF intake in ≥1 studies. Significant differences in UPF intake were seen across age, race/ethnicity, rural/urbanisation, food insecurity, income and region, with up to 10-20% differences in UPF intake (% total energy). Higher UPF intakes were associated with younger age, urbanisation, and being unmarried, single, separated or divorced. Education, income and socioeconomic status showed varying associations, depending on country. Multivariate analyses indicated that associations were independent of other sociodemographics. Household status and gender were generally not associated with UPF intake. NOS averaged 5.7/10. Several characteristics are independently associated with high UPF intake, indicating large sociodemographic variation in non-communicable disease risk. These findings highlight significant public health inequalities associated with UPF intake, and the urgent need for policy action to minimise social injustice-related health inequalities.

Type: Article
Title: Who consumes ultra-processed food? A systematic review of sociodemographic determinants of ultra-processed food consumption from nationally representative samples
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0954422423000240
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954422423000240
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Diet, health inequality, sociodemographic determinants, ultra-processed
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10180278
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