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To evaluate the association of ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption with gains in weight and waist circumference, and incident overweight/obesity, in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) cohort.
We applied FFQ at baseline and categorized energy intake by degree of processing using the NOVA classification. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured at baseline and after a mean 3·8-year follow-up. We assessed associations, through Poisson regression with robust variance, of UPF consumption with large weight gain (1·68 kg/year) and large waist gain (2·42 cm/year), both being defined as ≥90th percentile in the cohort, and with incident overweight/obesity.
Civil servants of Brazilian public academic institutions in six cities (n 11 827), aged 35–74 years at baseline (2008–2010).
UPF provided a mean 24·6 (sd 9·6) % of ingested energy. After adjustment for smoking, physical activity, adiposity and other factors, fourth (>30·8 %) v. first (<17·8 %) quartile of UPF consumption was associated (relative risk (95 % CI)) with 27 and 33 % greater risk of large weight and waist gains (1·27 (1·07, 1·50) and 1·33 (1·12, 1·58)), respectively. Similarly, those in the fourth consumption quartile presented 20 % greater risk (1·20 (1·03, 1·40)) of incident overweight/obesity and 2 % greater risk (1·02; (0·85, 1·21)) of incident obesity. Approximately 15 % of cases of large weight and waist gains and of incident overweight/obesity could be attributed to consumption of >17·8 % of energy as UPF.
Greater UPF consumption predicts large gains in overall and central adiposity and may contribute to the inexorable rise in obesity seen worldwide.
To verify if the intake of ultra-processed foods is associated with higher BMI and waist circumference (WC) among participants of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) cohort.
Cross-sectional analysis of the ELSA-Brasil baseline (2008–2010). Dietary information obtained through an FFQ was classified according to characteristics of food processing (NOVA) and used to estimate the percentage energy contribution from ultra-processed foods (i.e. industrial formulations, elaborated from food processing, synthetic constituents and food additives) to individuals’ total energy intake. BMI and WC and their respective cut-off points served as response variables. Associations were estimated through linear and multinomial logistic regression models, after adjusting for confounders and total energy intake.
Six Brazilian capital cities, 2008–2010.
Active and retired civil servants, aged 35–64 years, from universities and research organizations (n 8977).
Ultra-processed foods accounted for 22·7 % of total energy intake. After adjustments, individuals in the fourth quartile of percentage energy contribution from ultra-processed foods presented (β; 95 % CI) a higher BMI (0·80; CI 0·53, 1·07 kg/m2) and WC (1·71; 1·02, 2·40 cm), and higher chances (OR; 95 % CI) of being overweight (1·31; 1·13, 1·51), obese (1·41; 1·18, 1·69) and having significantly increased WC (1·41; 1·20, 1·66), compared with those in the first quartile. All associations suggest a dose–response gradient.
Results indicate the existence of associations between greater energy contribution from ultra-processed foods and higher BMI and WC, which are independent of total energy intake. These findings corroborate public policies designed to reduce the intake of this type of food.
In the present study we investigated gender-specific associations of low birth weight (LBW) and shorter relative leg length with metabolic syndrome (MetS) after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and health-related behaviours. We also investigated whether these associations are independent of age at menarche and BMI at 20 years old.
Baseline data from 12 602 participants (35–74 years) of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), 2008–2010.
MetS was defined according to the revised National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. LBW (<2·5 kg) and age- and sex-standardized relative leg length (high, medium and low) were the explanatory variables studied. The strength of the associations between the explanatory variables and MetS was estimated by Poisson regression with robust variance.
MetS prevalence was 34·2 %; it was more prevalent in men (36·8 %) than in women (32·2 %). In multivariate analysis, LBW was associated (prevalence ratio; 95 % CI) with MetS only in women (1·28; 1·24, 1·45). Shorter leg length was associated with MetS in both men (1·21; 1·09, 1·35 and 1·46; 1·29, 1·65 for low and medium lengths, respectively) and women (1·12; 1·00, 1·25 and 1·40; 1·22, 1·59 for low and medium lengths, respectively). Additional adjustments for age at menarche and BMI at 20 years old did not change the associations.
Poor nutritional status as estimated by LBW and lower leg length in childhood was associated with a higher prevalence of MetS, although LBW was a significant factor only among women.
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