Consumption of Ultra-processed and Processed Foods with Excessive Nutrients Associated with Noncommunicable Chronic Diseases and Unhealthy Diets in the Americas
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), high blood pressure, fasting hyperglycemia, overweight, and obesity are among the leading risk factors for death worldwide, causing 23% of deaths globally and 31% of those recorded in the Americas in 2004. In 2019, these factors were responsible for a total of about 3.2 million deaths in the Region, representing 44.5% of all deaths. These risk factors are closely linked to poor diet due primarily to the excessive intake of critical nutrients associated with noncommunicable chronic diseases (NCDs). This high consumption can largely be attributed to the widespread availability, affordability, advertising, and promotion of ultra-processed and processed food products containing disproportionate amounts of these nutrients. This study aims to estimate the effects of ultra-processed and processed foods with excessive amounts of free sugars, sodium, and total, saturated, and trans fats (according to the Pan American Health Organization Nutrient Profile Model) on the quality of people’s diets, based on the WHO intake goals for NCD-related critical nutrients. The study is based on representative surveys carried out in nine countries in the Americas.
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