Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods (not good news)

The calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultraprocessed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018, according to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Published August 10, 2021, in JAMA, the study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

Tufts University. “Ultraprocessed foods now comprise 2/3 of calories in children and teen diets.” ScienceDaily. (accessed August 10, 2021).

The largest spike in calories came from such ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes as takeout and frozen pizza and burgers: from 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second largest spike in calories came from packaged sweet snacks and desserts, the consumption of which grew from 10.6% to 12.9%.

Frozen pizza and burgers? Is this a problem?

Findings  In this serial cross-sectional study of nationally representative data from 33 795 US youths aged 2-19 years, the estimated percentage of total energy consumed from ultraprocessed foods increased from 61.4% to 67.0%, whereas the percentage of total energy consumed from unprocessed or minimally processed foods decreased from 28.8% to 23.5%.

We are doomed.

4 thoughts on “Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods (not good news)

    • My Mother fed me Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks and hot dogs. I had to shed a lifetime of bad eating habits. I’ll be posting my fermented food list later this week. To be honest, not many foods on any fermented food list appeal to me!

      • I’ll be interested to see what is on the fermented food list. So far the only things that appeals to me are yogurt snd kefir.

        I was surprised to hear about your childhood diet. I thought your mother was from China. I was assuming she would have cooked fresh food from scratch.

        My mother was a terrible cook. But I’ll have to admit all of the food she served was homemade. We never went out or had packaged or processed stuff. Once in a great while she would buy me a TV dinner as a great treat. I remember the three compartments in the tinfoil tray. I would’ve gladly eaten them every day. The Salsberry steak was my favorite.

      • Mom was from China and was probably a worse cook than your Mom. I too was served the TV dinners with the three compartments and my favorite was whatever had the apple pie in the tiny middle spot. Ate a lot of frozen pot pies too. My Dad was the primary cook in the family and his meals were all fresh and homemade. So childhood meals were only half bad.

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