A Mente; M Dehghan

A PHRI-led systematic review and meta-analysis of diet trends of energy, macronutrients, and foods in 47 countries – from 1950 to 2020 – shows regional variations and identifies countries that would benefit from nutritional policies aimed at decreasing lower-quality carbohydrate foods and increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, dairy, and eggs.

Their findings were published in Nutrition – first author Claudia Sikorski, senior author Andrew Mente, with coauthors including PHRI’s Koon Teo, Sonia Anand, Guillaume Pare, Salim Yusuf, Mahshid Dehghan, and Victoria Miller.

Some of the findings include the following trends over the 70 years:

  • A greater increase in country income related to larger drops in carbohydrate consumption and greater intake in fat and protein
  • Decreased saturated fat in North and Eastern Europe; stable amounts of saturated fat elsewhere
  • Increased consumption of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fruits and vegetables in East/Southeast Asia
  • Consumption of fruit, eggs, nuts, legumes, and roots/tubers were below recommendations in most regions.

Ultra-processed foods

The same week, in late December 2022, PHRI researchers and global collaborators published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition an analysis from the PURE study of ultra-processed foods and mortality.

While higher intake of ultra-processed foods has been associated with increased risk of CVD and mortality in observational studies from Western countries, data from non-Western countries are limited.

Dehghan, Yusuf et al analyzed 138,076 participants without a history of CVD between the ages of 35 and 70 years living on five continents.

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