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To estimate the consumption of ultra-processed foods and determine its association with dietary quality among middle-aged Japanese adults.
Cross-sectional study using data from the Saitama Prefecture Health and Nutrition Survey 2011. Dietary intake was assessed using one- or two-day dietary records. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors were obtained via self-administered questionnaire. Food items were classified according to the NOVA system into four groups: unprocessed or minimally processed foods; processed culinary ingredients; processed foods; and ultra-processed foods. The dietary share of each NOVA food group and their subgroups was calculated in relation to total energy intake, and the average dietary content of key nutrients was determined across tertiles of the dietary energy share of ultra-processed foods (low, middle and high intake).
Saitama Prefecture in Japan.
Community-dwelling adults aged 30–59 years (256 men, 361 women).
Consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods and ultra-processed foods contributed 44·9 (se 0·8) %, 5·5 (se 0·2) %, 11·3 (se 0·4) % and 38·2 (se 0·9) % of total daily energy intake, respectively. A positive and statistically significant linear trend was found between the dietary share of ultra-processed foods (tertiles) and the dietary content of total and saturated fat, while an inverse relationship was observed for protein, vitamin K, vitamin B6, dietary fibre, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Our findings show that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with decreased dietary quality among Japanese adults.
There is an increasing concern of anaemia in Japanese women, but no national trend data has existed to date. We analysed long-term national trends of anaemia in adult women.
Secondary analyses of 15 consecutive cross-sectional nationwide surveys conducted during the period 1989–2003. Analyses were based on 5-year intervals (1989–1993, 1994–1998, 1999–2003).
The subjects included the National Health and Nutrition Survey of Japan (NHNS-J) population. Analyses were based on 50 967 non-pregnant/non-lactating women aged 20 years and over, with complete data sets. We stratified subjects into six age groups (20–29 years, 30–39 years, 40–49 years, 50–59 years, 60–69 years and 70+ years), and three age groups (20–49 years, 50–69 years, 70+ years) for analyses on residential areas (metropolitan, cities and towns).
Decreases in trends of mean haemoglobin values (intravenous) were significant in all age groups. Changes in the prevalence of anaemia were significant only in women aged 30–39 and 40–49 years. Anaemia (haemoglobin < 12.0 g dl−1) increased from 16.8% to 20.6% in women aged 30–39 years, and from 20.2% to 26.9% in women aged 40–49 years, respectively. Prevalence was highest in women aged 70 years and older in all times, but no significant change was observed.
Haemoglobin values have declined significantly in all ages in the last 15 years. Anaemia was especially significant in women aged 30–39 years and 40–49 years. Our findings suggest that a large number of young women in Japan are at risk of anaemia, so continuous monitoring and controlling efforts of this trend are needed.
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