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Identifying youths most at risk to COVID-19-related mental illness is essential for the development of effective targeted interventions.
To compare trajectories of mental health throughout the pandemic in youth with and without prior mental illness and identify those most at risk of COVID-19-related mental illness.
Data were collected from individuals aged 18–26 years (N = 669) from two existing cohorts: IMAGEN, a population-based cohort; and ESTRA/STRATIFY, clinical cohorts of individuals with pre-existing diagnoses of mental disorders. Repeated COVID-19 surveys and standardised mental health assessments were used to compare trajectories of mental health symptoms from before the pandemic through to the second lockdown.
Mental health trajectories differed significantly between cohorts. In the population cohort, depression and eating disorder symptoms increased by 33.9% (95% CI 31.78–36.57) and 15.6% (95% CI 15.39–15.68) during the pandemic, respectively. By contrast, these remained high over time in the clinical cohort. Conversely, trajectories of alcohol misuse were similar in both cohorts, decreasing continuously (a 15.2% decrease) during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic symptom severity predicted the observed mental health trajectories in the population cohort. Surprisingly, being relatively healthy predicted increases in depression and eating disorder symptoms and in body mass index. By contrast, those initially at higher risk for depression or eating disorders reported a lasting decrease.
Healthier young people may be at greater risk of developing depressive or eating disorder symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Targeted mental health interventions considering prior diagnostic risk may be warranted to help young people cope with the challenges of psychosocial stress and reduce the associated healthcare burden.
To assess in 2021 the acceptance and perception of the French tax on sweetened beverages, following its revision in 2018, and factors associated with a higher level of acceptance.
A cross-sectional survey within the NutriNet-Santé cohort study. Participants were invited to complete a self-reported questionnaire in March 2021. Weighting was applied to the sample to allow inferences on the French population. Individual characteristics associated with support for the tax were investigated using logistic regression modelling.
NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort study.
Adults engaged in the NutriNet-Santé cohort, aged 18 years or older (n 28 344), living in mainland France.
Almost two-thirds (63·4 %) of the participants were aware of the existence of a tax on sweetened beverages, although less than a quarter had specific knowledge regarding its design and the 2018 revision. In turn, 64·7 % of participants expressed a favourable opinion towards the taxation scheme. This proportion was higher if tax revenues were used to finance health-related measures (respectively 68·8 % of favourable opinion if used to finance a reduction in prices of healthy products and 76·4 % if used to finance the healthcare system). Multivariable analyses showed that support towards the tax varied among subgroups of the population. Groups who tended to be less financially affected by the measure and those who perceived sugar-sweetened beverages as having detrimental effects were more likely to support the tax.
The revised French sugar-sweetened beverage tax appeared to be favourably received and perceived by the public.
To investigate clustering of risk behaviours in adolescents with excess weight.
Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the PRALIMAP-INÈS trial. Information on food frequency consumption (fruit, vegetables, sugary products and beverages), physical activity, sedentary behaviour (week and weekend days), smoking and alcohol consumption (current frequency and intoxication episodes) and socio-demographic data was collected using self-reported questionnaires. Behavioural risk factors were entered as categorical variables in a two-step clustering procedure: multiple correspondence analysis followed by hierarchical clustering. Associations between cluster membership and socio-demographic variables were investigated using multivariable multinomial logistic regression.
French PRALIMAP-INÈS trial.
Adolescents with excess weight.
A total of 1391 participants (13–18 years old, 58·2 % female) were included in the analysis, which resulted in the identification of four groups of participants, including, respectively, 543 (39·0 %), 373 (26·8 %), 246 (17·7 %) and 229 (16·5 %) participants. Clusters 1 and 4 showed associations of rather healthy behaviours (high physical activity and low consumption of sugary products; high consumption of fruit and vegetables, respectively), while clusters 2 and 3 showed associations of rather unhealthy behaviours (high sedentary behaviour and low consumption of fruit and vegetables; smoking and alcohol consumption, respectively). Both social status and family structure were associated with cluster membership.
Risk behaviour patterns in adolescents with excess weight were clustered in both healthier and less healthy ways, with a complex interplay with socio-demographic factors.
Dietary indexes measure the adherence of individuals to a set of nutritional recommendations. However, the health gains associated with adherence to various dietary indexes may vary. Our objective was to compare the magnitude of estimated avoided deaths by chronic diseases obtained by improving diet quality in the French population, measured by a variety of dietary indexes.
Simulation study based on observational data.
Weighted data from a French population-based cohort study.
In participants from the NutriNet-Santé cohort, we computed dietary scores reflecting the adherence to various recommendations (Medi-Lite, Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI), Programme National Nutrition Santé/National Nutrition and Health Program – Guidelines Score, Diet Quality Index (DQI), Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and the modified Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system dietary index (FSAm-NPS DI)). Quintiles of the food groups’ consumption and dietary intakes were used as input in a simulation model (Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl (PRIME)), yielding the number of delayed or avoided deaths in nutrition-related non-communicable diseases, comparing between very high or very low nutritional quality of the diet and medium nutritional quality.
A modification of dietary intakes from medium quality to very low quality (i.e. from the middle quintile to the quintile with the lowest nutritional quality) was associated with an increased number of deaths ranging from 3485 (95 % uncertainty interval (CI) 4002, 2987) for HDI and 3379 (95 % CI 3881, 2894) for FSAm-NPS DI to 838 (95 % CI 1163, 523) for Medi-Lite. Conversely, a modification of dietary intakes from medium quality to very high quality was associated with a decrease in the number of deaths ranging from 1995 (95 % CI 1676, 2299) for Probability of Adequate Nutrient intake diet, 1986 (95 % CI 1565, 2361) for DQI-International, 1931 (95 % CI 1499, 2316) for FSAm-NPS DI and 858 (95 % CI 499, 1205) for HDI.
Our results provide some insights as the potential impact of following various dietary guidelines to reduce mortality from nutrition-related diseases.
Non-communicable diseases, such as cancers and CVD, represent a major public health concern, and diet is an important factor in their development. French dietary recommendations were updated in 2017, and an adherence score, the Programme National Nutrition Santé Guidelines Score (PNNS-GS2), has been developed and validated using a standardised procedure. The present study aimed to analyse the prospective association between PNNS-GS2 and the risk of death, cancer and CVD. Our sample consisted of French adults included in the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort (n 67 748, 75 634 and 80 269 for the risk of death, cancer and CVD, respectively). PNNS-GS2 (range: –∞ to 14·25) was calculated from the 24-h dietary records of the first 2 years of monitoring. Association between PNNS-GS2 (in quintiles, Q) and the risk of death, cancer and CVD was studied using Cox models adjusted for the main confounding factors. The sample included 78 % of women, aged on average 44·4 years (sd 14·6) with on average 6·6 (sd 2·3) dietary records. Average PNNS-GS2 was 1·5 (sd 3·4) and median follow-up was 6·6 years for cancers and 6·2 years for CVD and deaths. PNNS-GS2 was significantly associated with the risk of death (hazard ratio (HR)Q5vsQ1: 0·77 (95 % CI 0·60, 1·00), 828 cases), cancer (HRQ5vsQ1 = 0·80 (95 % CI 0·69, 0·92), 2577 cases) and CVD (HRQ5vsQ1 0·64 (95 % CI 0·51, 0·81), 964 cases). More specifically, PNNS-GS2 was significantly associated with colorectal and breast cancer risks but not prostate cancer risk. Our results suggest that strong adherence to the 2017 French dietary recommendations is associated with a lower risk of death, cancer or CVD. This reinforces the validity of these new recommendations and will help to promote their dissemination.
While food-based dietary guidelines have been widely disseminated for decades to improve nutritional knowledge in the population about healthy diets, more recent interventions such as front-of-pack labelling have made the differences between the two approaches apparent. While food-based dietary guidelines provide the overarching framework and benchmarks for a healthy diet, based on the current knowledge of the associations between various dietary components and health outcomes, front-of-pack labelling provides guidance to select a specific food, either within a food group or among similar foods belonging to various brands. Labelling foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ raises multiple questions on the criteria used to define the terms and the implications of assigning an absolute healthiness value to an individual food in the context of complex diets. Gradual systems may provide more relative assessments and avoid dichotomisation. The present article presents the inherent differences and the complementarity of food-based dietary guidelines and food choice guidance in the context of food labelling.
In France, dairy products contribute to dietary saturated fat intake, of which reduced consumption is often recommended for CVD prevention. Epidemiological evidence on the association between dairy consumption and CVD risk remains unclear, suggesting either null or inverse associations. This study aimed to investigate the associations between dairy consumption (overall and specific foods) and CVD risk in a large cohort of French adults. This prospective analysis included participants aged ≥18 years from the NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009–2019). Daily dietary intakes were collected using 24-h dietary records. Total dairy, milk, cheese, yogurts, fermented and reduced-fat dairy intakes were investigated. CVD cases (n 1952) included cerebrovascular disease (n 878 cases) and CHD (n 1219 cases). Multivariable Cox models were performed to investigate associations. This analysis included 104 805 French adults (mean age at baseline 42·8 (sd 14·6) years, mean follow-up 5·5 (sd 3·0) years, i.e. 579 155 person-years). There were no significant associations between dairy intakes and total CVD or CHD risks. However, the consumption of at least 160 g/d of fermented dairy (e.g. cheese and yogurts) was associated with a reduced risk of cerebrovascular diseases compared with intakes below 57 g/d (hazard ratio = 0·81 (95 % CI 0·66, 0·98), Ptrend = 0·01). Despite being a major dietary source of saturated fats, dairy consumption was not associated with CVD or CHD risks in this study. However, fermented dairy was associated with a lower cerebrovascular disease risk. Robust randomised controlled trials are needed to further assess the impact of consuming different dairy foods on CVD risk and potential underlying mechanisms.
Host–microbial co-metabolism products are being increasingly recognised to play important roles in physiological processes. However, studies undertaking a comprehensive approach to consider host–microbial metabolic relationships remain scarce. Metabolomic analysis yielding detailed information regarding metabolites found in a given biological compartment holds promise for such an approach. This work aimed to explore the associations between host plasma metabolomic signatures and gut microbiota composition in healthy adults of the Milieu Intérieur study. For 846 subjects, gut microbiota composition was profiled through sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in stools. Metabolomic signatures were generated through proton NMR analysis of plasma. The associations between metabolomic variables and α- and β-diversity indexes and relative taxa abundances were tested using multi-adjusted partial Spearman correlations, permutational ANOVA and multivariate associations with linear models, respectively. A multiple testing correction was applied (Benjamini–Hochberg, 10 % false discovery rate). Microbial richness was negatively associated with lipid-related signals and positively associated with amino acids, choline, creatinine, glucose and citrate (−0·133 ≤ Spearman’s ρ ≤ 0·126). Specific associations between metabolomic signals and abundances of taxa were detected (twenty-five at the genus level and nineteen at the species level): notably, numerous associations were observed for creatinine (positively associated with eleven species and negatively associated with Faecalibacterium prausnitzii). This large-scale population-based study highlights metabolites associated with gut microbial features and provides new insights into the understanding of complex host–gut microbiota metabolic relationships. In particular, our results support the implication of a ‘gut–kidney axis’. More studies providing a detailed exploration of these complex interactions and their implications for host health are needed.
The rising popular belief that gluten is unhealthy has led to growth in gluten avoidance in people without coeliac disease. Little information is available on their dietary profiles and their dietary behaviours. Our aim was to compare the consumption of organic foods between gluten avoiders and non-avoiders, and their places of food purchase. We described their sociodemographic and dietary profiles. The study population included participants of the NutriNet-Santé cohort who completed both a food exclusion questionnaire and an organic semi-quantitative FFQ (n 23 468). Food intake and organic food consumption ratios were compared using multivariable adjusted ANCOVA models. Associations between gluten avoidance and organic food consumption as well as places of food purchase were investigated with multivariable logistic regression. Participants avoiding gluten were more likely to be women and had a healthier dietary profile. Organic food consumption was higher among gluten avoiders (48·50 % of total diet for total avoiders, 17·38 % for non-avoiders). After adjustments for confounders, organic food consumption and purchase in organic stores were positively associated with gluten avoidance: adjusted OR (aOR)Q5 v.Q1 organic food = 4·95; 95 % CI 3·70, 6·63 and aORorganic stores v.supermarkets = 1·82; 95 % CI 1·42, 2·33 for total avoiders. Our study highlights that individuals avoiding gluten are high organic consumers and frequently purchase their foods in organic stores which propose an extended offer of gluten-free food. Further research is needed to determine the underlying common motivations and the temporality of the dietary behaviours of healthy people avoiding gluten.
Nutrient profiling systems (NPS) are used to classify foods according to their nutritional composition. However, investigating their prospective associations with health is key to their validation. The study investigated the associations of the original Food Standards Agency (FSA)-NPS and three variants (Food Standards Australia New Zealand Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion (NPSC), Health Star Rating NPS and the French High Council of Public Health NPS (HCSP-NPS)), with weight status. Individual dietary indices based on each NPS at the food level were computed to characterise the dietary quality of 71 403 French individuals from the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Associations of these indices with weight gain were assessed using mixed models and with overweight and obesity risks using Cox models. Participants with a higher dietary index (reflecting lower diet nutritional quality) were more likely to have a significant increase in BMI over time (β-coefficients positive) and an increased risk of overweight (hazard ratio (HR) T3 v. T1 = 1·27 (95 % CI 1·17, 1·37)) for the HCSP-Dietary Index, followed by the original FSA-Dietary Index (HR T3 v. T1 = 1·18 (95 % CI 1·09, 1·28)), the NPSC-Dietary Index (HR T3 v. T1 = 1·14 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·24)) and the Health Star Rating-Dietary Index (HR T3 v. T1 = 1·12 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·21)). Whilst differences were small, the HCSP-Dietary Index appeared to show significantly greater association with overweight risk. Overall, these results show the validity of NPS derived from the FSA-NPS, supporting their use in public policies for chronic disease prevention.
The 2017 implementation in France of the front-of-package nutrition label known as Nutri-Score is a major public health strategy to help individuals make healthier food choices at the point of purchase and thus help reduce chronic disease risk on the population level. The algorithm behind the Nutri-Score is intended to reflect the overall nutritional quality of food and is based on the one developed by the British Food Standards Agency Nutrient Profiling System, following a slight modification (FSAm-NPS) in accordance with French dietary guidelines. Prior research has focused on its association with various physical health outcomes (weight gain, metabolic syndrome, cancer incidence, etc.), yet no studies have explored the link with oral health indicators. We analyzed the cross-sectional association of the FSAm-NPS with oral health in a population-based sample of 33,231 men and women enrolled in the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Oral health (main dependent variable) was assessed in 2016 with the General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). It consists of 12 items scored on a 5-point Likert scale (maximum score = 60) with lower scores corresponding to poorer oral health with a detrimental impact on quality of life. FSAm-NPS (main independent variable) was calculated on the basis of 3 non-consecutive 24-h dietary records, following established methodology (score range: -15 to + 40, with lower scores corresponding to higher nutritional quality). Age-specific associations (cutoff = 60 y) were explored via multivariable linear regression models. Mean GOHAI score in the sample was 53.8 ± 5.5 (range: 19 to 60) and mean FSAm-NPS was 6.0 ± 2.2 (range: -6.7 to + 15.5). The unadjusted and the age- and sex-adjusted models were significant only in the younger age group (18–59 y). The fully-adjusted model showed modest yet significant associations between overall nutritional quality and oral health in younger and older participants, with the strength of the model being more pronounced in the former compared with the latter age group (F value: 28.5 vs. 6.3, both p < 0.0001). Overall, consuming food with a higher FSAm-NPS score (corresponding to lower nutritional quality) was associated with higher risk of oral health problems. Future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the observed associations. On the public health policy level, the findings support implementation of the Nutri-Score on pre-packaged food in order to steer consumer choice toward nutritional profiles that are favorable not only for chronic disease prevention but also for oral health.
The new score of adherence to the 2017 French food-based dietary guidelines (PNNS-GS2) has previously been validated. Overweight and obesity being major risk factors for morbidity and mortality and highly related to diet, this study therefore aimed to study their prospective association with PNNS-GS2. A secondary objective was to compare these results to those obtained with PNNS-GS, reflecting 2001 recommendations.
Material and methods
The sample included French adults recruited in the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort (N = 31,804 and 42,471 for overweight and obesity analyses respectively). The PNNS-GS and the PNNS-GS2 were calculated from repeated 24-hour dietary records collected during the first 2 years of follow-up, and weights were recorded after them in various questionnaires (N = 7.7 weight values on average, SD = 2.3). The association between the scores (as continuous and in quintiles, Q) and the risk of overweight or obesity was modelled by a Cox regression. Events were defined as having a BMI higher than 25 or 30, for overweight and obesity respectively. Comparison to the association with the PNNS-GS was performed using the mPNNS-GS, a modified PNNS-GS without the “physical activity” component. Models were adjusted for age (time scale), gender, size, energy intake, physical activity, socio-professional category, smoking, cohabitation, monthly income and alcohol consumption
Results and Statistical Analysis
Mean scores were 2.2 (SD = 3.2) for PNNS-GS2 and 8.2 (SD = 1.6) for the mPNNS-GS in the “overweight” sample, and 1.9 (SD = 3.3) for the PNNS-GS2 and 8.2 (SD = 1.6) for mPNNS-GS in the “obesity” sample. In our cohort, PNNS-GS2 was significantly associated with the risk obesity, both in quintiles (HRQ5vsQ1 [95%IC] = 0.43 [0.36–0.51]), with a very linear pattern across quintiles (p for trend < 0.0001), and continuously (HR1 point ofPNNS-GS2 [95%IC] = 0.90 [0.88–0.92]). Results were very similar for overweight. On the other hand, mPNNS-GS associations were not significant, whatever the outcome.
The strong association of PNNS-GS2 with the risk of overweight and obesity reinforces its construct validity. Its apparent superiority over the mPNNS-GS contributes to the relevance of the 2017 dietary guidelines.
Current French National Health and Nutrition Plan (PNNS) recommends 2 servings of dairy products per day for adults. However, dairy contributes to dietary saturated fat intake, of which reduced consumption is often recommended for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. Epidemiological evidence on the association between dairy product consumption and CVD risk remains unclear, with findings from recent prospective cohorts suggesting either null or inverse associations between dairy intake and CVD risk(1,2). This study aimed to investigate the associations between intakes of dairy products (overall and specific types) and CVD risk in a large cohort of French adults.
This prospective study included self-selected participants aged ≥ 18 years from the NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009–2019). Dietary data were collected every 6 months using 24 h-dietary records, averaged in daily intakes and coded as sex-specific quartiles. Dairy foods were classified according the PNNS dairy groups: milk, cheese, and yogurts (i.e. yogurts, curd cheese and petit-suisses). Total, fermented and low-fat dairy intakes were also investigated. CVD cases (n = 1,952) included cerebrovascular (i.e. stroke and transient ischemic attack, n = 878 cases) and coronary heart diseases (i.e. myocardial infarction, angina, acute coronary syndrome and angioplasty, n = 1,219 cases). Multivariable Cox models were performed to characterize associations and were adjusted for age, gender, without-alcohol energy intake, number of 24h-dietary records, smoking status, educational level, physical activity, BMI, alcohol intake and family history of CVD.
This analysis included n = 104,805 French adults with a mean age 42.8 (SD 14.6) years and the mean number of dietary records per subject was 5.7 (SD 3.1). There was no association between total or specific dairy intakes and total CVD or coronary heart disease risks. However, consumption of fermented dairy, such as cheese and yogurts, was associated with a 19% reduction in the risk of cerebrovascular disease (HRQ4 vs. Q1 = 0.81 [0.66–0.98], p trend = 0.01).
Despite being important dietary sources of saturated fat, dairy product consumption was not associated with total CVD or coronary heart disease risks in a large cohort of French adults. However, fermented dairy products may be associated with a lower risk of cerebrovascular diseases. Further observational and interventional studies may be needed to further assess the impact of dairy on CVD risk and to identify potential mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of fermented dairy products on cerebrovascular disease risk.
The consumption of ultra-processed foods has been increasing during the last decades, and has been previously associated with increased risks of mortality and several chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The objective of this study is to assess the prospective associations between consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Overall, 104707 participants aged at least 18 years (median age 41.5 years) from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009–2019) were included. Dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24 hour dietary records (5.7/subject in average), designed to register participants' usual consumption for 3300 different food items. These were categorized according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification. Associations between ultra-processed food intake and risk of type 2 diabetes were assessed using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for known risk factors (sociodemographic, anthropometric, lifestyle, medical history and nutritional factors).
Ultra-processed sugary products, fruits and vegetables, and beverages were the highest contributors of the ultra-processed category (respectively 27.9, 18.5 and 15.6%). Ultra-processed food intake was associated with a higher risk of T2D (n = 821 incident cases; hazard ratio for an absolute increment of 10 in the percentage of ultra-processed foods in the diet = 1.15 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.25); P = 0.0009, median follow-up: 6.0y, 582252 person-years). These results remained statistically significant after adjustment for other metabolic comorbidities, for several markers of the nutritional quality of the diet (red meat and sugary drinks consumption, intakes of saturated fatty acids, sodium, sugar, dietary fiber or Healthy/Western patterns derived by principal component analysis) and after a large range of sensitivity analyses.
In this large observational prospective study, higher consumption of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. These results need to be confirmed in other populations and settings, and causality remains to be established. Various dimensions of processing such as nutritional composition of the final product, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants might play a role in these associations and further studies are needed to better understand their relative contribution. Meanwhile, public health authorities in several countries recently started to recommend privileging unprocessed/minimally processed foods and limiting ultra-processed food consumption.
Study Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03335644.
Recently, Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) have introduced the sustainability concept relying on health and environmental issues related diet. In 2017, the French FBDG were updated including, beyond healthy diet for human, environmental protection and the promotion of organic food.
The aim of the present analysis was to describe sustainable indicators (nutrition, environment, economic, sanitary exposure and long-term) according to adherence to the 2017 FBDG.
Material and Methods
The sample included a total of 28,240 from the NutriNet-Santé cohort having completed an, in the framework of the BioNutriNet project, an organic food frequency questionnaire allowing to estimate organic and conventional food consumption for 264 items. After matching, several databases were compiled to evaluate environmental impacts (greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand and land occupation and the pReCiPe score aggregating the three individual indicators), purchase costs of the diet and dietary exposure to pesticides, all data accounting for farming systems. A recently validated adherence score estimating compliance with the 2017 FBDG (programme national nutrition santé guidelines-score, PNNS-GS 2) was used and the quintiles were computed for comparison purpose of multiple sustainable. Numbers of averted or avoided deaths by adhering to the FBDG were also estimated using the PRIME.
A higher PNNS-GS2 scores is positively correlated to a high plant-based diet, a lower energy intake and a higher cost (+ 0.91€/d). It was associated with lower environmental impacts (ΔQ5vsQ1pReCiPe: -50% for PNNS-GS2). Higher PNNS-GS2 was associated with lower exposure to all pesticides except those used in organic farming and led to a reduction of about 20,000 averted or delayed deaths.
Our results suggest that 2017 FBDG are in line with the sustainable despite a slight higher cost. Such dietary guidelines, if largely adopted, may help in health promotion and reducing environmental protection in a context of an alarming climatic change.
The food-based dietary guidelines having been revised in March 2017, it appeared necessary to update the National Nutrition Health Program - Guidelines Score (PNNS-GS), the diet quality score developed according to the 2001 recommendations. This study was therefore aimed at developing and validating the PNNS-GS2, the diet quality score based on the new recommendations.
Material and methods
Our sample included 80,965 French adults enrolled in the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort. Collected data included 24-hour dietary records over two years, socio-demographic data, and (in a sub-sample of 16,938 individuals) clinical and biological indicators. The cut-offs and weights of the components of the PNNS-GS2 were developed collegially by nutrition experts who were involved in the update of the recommendations. The score has 13 components for a theoretical value ranging from -∞ to 13.5 points. Nutritional, socio-demographic, clinical, and biological data were described according to the PNNS-GS2 quintile. The face, content, construct and criterion validities were also evaluated.
In our sample, mean PNNS-GS2 was 2.1 (SD = 3.1) in women and -0.3 (SD = 3.6) in men. A high PNNS-GS2 (and therefore a better adherence to the new recommendations) was positively associated with (mean difference Q5-Q1) a high age (Δwomen = + 8.4 / Δmen = + 4.7 years), higher educational level (Δwomen = + 3.9 / Δmen = + 7.4% with a university level), more physical activity (Δwomen = + 13.3 / Δmen = + 3.5% with ≥ 60 min/day) and a larger proportion of non-smokers (Δwomen = + 9.7 / Δmen = + 13.7%). A high PNNS-GS2 was also positively associated with a higher fiber intake (Δwomen = + 8.7 / Δmen = + 10.7 g/d) or vitamin C (Δwomen = + 36.6 / Δmen = + 43.8 mg/d), and negatively with mean arterial pressure (Δwomen = -3.0 / Δmen = -2.8 mmHg) and plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations (Δwomen = -0.07 / Δmen = -0.06 g/L) and triglycerides (Δwomen = -0.1 / Δmen = -0.16 g/L). All tests were significant (p < 0.05).
Associations observed between the PNNS-GS2 and socio-demographic, nutritional and clinico-biological factors are consistent and corroborate its validity. Further studies will be needed to estimate its association with mortality and morbidity.
In 2017, 11 million deaths related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were attributable to dietary risk factors (GBD, 2019). Helping consumers make healthier food choices hence appears as one key strategy to prevent NCDs-related mortality. To this end, political authorities are considering implementing a simple label to reflect the nutritional quality of food products. The five-colour Nutri-Score label, derived from the Nutrient Profiling System of the British Food Standards Agency (FSAm-NPS), has been chosen by several countries in Europe (France, Belgium, Spain). Yet, its implementation is still voluntary per EU labelling regulation. Scientific evidence is therefore needed regarding the relevance of the FSAm-NPS at the European level. Following on our results showing an increased risk of cancer related to the consumption of foods with a high FSAm-NPS score in the EPIC cohort, our objective is now to focus on NCDs-related mortality. Our prospective analyses included 501,594 adults from the EPIC cohort (1992–2015, median follow-up: 17.2 years). Mortality events occurring < 2 years after recruitment were excluded, leaving 50,743 death events (main causes: cancer, n = 21,971; cerebro/cardiovascular diseases, n = 12,407; respiratory diseases, n = 2,796). Usual food intakes were assessed with standardized country-specific diet assessment methods. The FSAm-NPS was calculated for each food/beverage using their 100-g content in energy, sugar, saturated fatty acid, sodium, fibres, proteins, and fruits/vegetables/legumes/nuts. The individual FSAm-NPS Dietary Index (DI) is obtained as an energy-weighted mean of the FSAm-NPS scores of all food items usually consumed by a participant. Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for confounding factors, including personal history of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes were computed. Fine and Gray models were also tested to take into account competing events for cause-specific mortality analyses. A higher FSAm-NPS DI score, reflecting a lower nutritional quality of the diet, was associated with a higher mortality risk overall (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.06 [95%CI: 1.02–1.09], P-trend < 0.001) and by cancer (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.06 [1.01–1.11], P-trend = 0.003) and respiratory diseases (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.33 [1.16–1.52], P-trend < 0.001), with similar results in competing events analyses. Associations with cerebro-/cardiovascular diseases mortality were weaker (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.05 [0.98,1.11], P-trend = 0.04) and no longer statistically significant in competing events analyses. In this large multinational European cohort, the consumption of food products with a higher FSAm-NPS score (lower nutritional quality of the foods consumed) was associated with a higher mortality risk, supporting the relevance of the FSAm-NPS to grade the nutritional quality of food products for public health applications (e.g, Nutri-Score) aiming to guide the consumers towards healthier food choices.
Previous epidemiological studies have found associations between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of obesity-related outcomes, such as post-menopausal breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and mortality. However, only one Spanish prospective study has explored the associations between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of overweight and obesity. The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between ultra-processed food consumption and the risk of overweight and obesity, as well as the associations between ultra-processed food consumption and weight trajectories, in middle-aged adults included in the French large scale NutriNet-Santé cohort.
Overall, 110260 participants aged at least 18 years from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009–2019) were included. Dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24 hour dietary records, merged with a food composition database of 3300 different products. These were categorized according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification. Associations between ultra-processed food intake and risks of overweight and obesity were assessed using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. Associations between ultra-processed food intake and weight trajectories were assessed using multivariable linear mixed models for repeated measures with random slope and intercept. Models were adjusted for known risk factors (sociodemographic, lifestyle, and nutritional factors).
Ultra-processed food intake was associated with a higher risk of overweight (n = 7063 incident cases; hazard ratio for an absolute increment of 10 in the percentage of ultra-processed foods in the diet = 1.11 (95% confidence interval 1.08 to 1.14); P < 0.0001, median follow-up: 4.1y, 260304 person-years) and obesity (n = 3066 incident cases; HR = 1.09 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.13); P < 0.0001, median follow-up: 8.0y 365344 person-years). Higher consumers of ultra-processed foods (4th quartile) were more likely to present an increase in body mass index over time (change of BMI/time-unit in Q4 vs Q1 = 0.04, P < 0.0001). These results remained statistically significant after adjustment for several markers of the nutritional quality of the diet (fruits and vegetables and sugary drinks consumption, intakes of saturated fatty acids, sodium, sugar, dietary fiber or Healthy/Western patterns derived by principal component analysis) and after a large range of sensitivity analyses.
In this large observational prospective study, higher consumption of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a higher risk of overweight and obesity. Public health authorities in several countries recently started to recommend privileging unprocessed/minimally processed foods and limiting ultra-processed food consumption.