Ultra-processed food intake and mortality in the USA: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994)

Hyunju Kim, Emily A. Hu, Casey M. Rebholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the association between ultra-processed food intake and all-cause mortality and CVD mortality in a nationally representative sample of US adults.Design Prospective analyses of reported frequency of ultra-processed food intake in 1988-1994 and all-cause mortality and CVD mortality through 2011.Setting The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994).Participants Adults aged ≥20 years (n 11898).Results Over a median follow-up of 19 years, individuals in the highest quartile of frequency of ultra-processed food intake (e.g. sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, sweetened milk, sausage or other reconstructed meats, sweetened cereals, confectionery, desserts) had a 31% higher risk of all-cause mortality, after adjusting for demographic and socio-economic confounders and health behaviours (adjusted hazard ratio=1·31; 95% CI 1·09, 1·58; P-trend = 0·001). No association with CVD mortality was observed (P-trend=0·86).Conclusions Higher frequency of ultra-processed food intake was associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality in a representative sample of US adults. More longitudinal studies with dietary data reflecting the modern food supply are needed to confirm our results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1777-1785
Number of pages9
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Keywords

  • Mortality
  • NOVA classification
  • Nutritional characteristics
  • Nutritional quality
  • Ultra-processed food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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