Ultra-processed food consumption in Barbados: evidence from a nationally representative, cross-sectional study.
Journal of nutritional science 2020 ; 10: e29.
Harris RM, Rose AMC, Soares-Wynter S, and Unwin N
DOI : 10.1017/jns.2021.21
PubMed ID : 34094510
PMCID : PMC8141678
URL : https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-nutritional-science/article/ultraprocessed-food-consumption-in-barbados-evidence-from-a-nationally-representative-crosssectional-study/10587AF2CDD94B934E09B9D6189A0B4A
Our objective was to describe, for the first time in an English-speaking Caribbean country, the contribution of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) to nutrients linked to non-communicable disease. Using a cross-sectional study design, dietary data were collected from two non-consecutive 24-h dietary recalls. Recorded food items were then classified according to their degree of processing by the NOVA system. The present study took place in Barbados (2012-13). A representative population-based sample of 364 adult Barbadians (161 males and 203 females) aged 25-64 years participated in the study. UPFs represented 40⋅5 % (838 kcal/d; 95 % CI 791, 885) of mean energy intake. Sugar-sweetened beverages made the largest contribution to energy within the UPF category. Younger persons (25-44 years) consumed a significantly higher proportion of calories from UPF (NOVA group 4) compared with older persons (45-64 years). The mean energy shares of UPF ranged from 22⋅0 to 58⋅9 % for those in the lowest tertile to highest tertile. Within each tertile, the energy contribution was significantly higher in the younger age group (25-44 years) compared with the older (45-64 years). One-quarter of persons consume ≥50 % of their daily calories from UPF, this being significantly higher in younger persons. The ultra-processed diet fraction contained about six times the mean of free sugars and about 0⋅8 times the dietary fibre of the non-ultra-processed fraction (NOVA groups 1-3). Targeted interventions to decrease the consumption of UPF especially in younger persons is thus of high priority to improve the diet quality of Barbadians.