Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort.
BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2018;360:k322
Plain language summary
Foods that are heavily processed tend to have high levels of total fat, sugar and salt and low levels of fibre and vitamins. They also tend to have high levels of contaminants (caused for example by high heat treatment), food additives and plastic packaging exposure. This large prospective population-based cohort study assessed the association between ultra-processed food consumption and the incidence of cancer. The study found that ultra-processed food intake was associated with a higher overall cancer risk and a higher breast cancer risk. A 10% increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increase of more than 10% greater risk of overall and breast cancer risk. The authors call for further studies to better understand the different elements of food processing and their association to cancer risk.
OBJECTIVE To assess the prospective associations between consumption of ultra-processed food and risk of cancer. DESIGN Population based cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS 104 980 participants aged at least 18 years (median age 42.8 years) from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009-17). Dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24 hour dietary records, designed to register participants' usual consumption for 3300 different food items. These were categorised according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Associations between ultra-processed food intake and risk of overall, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer assessed by multivariable Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for known risk factors. RESULTS Ultra-processed food intake was associated with higher overall cancer risk (n=2228 cases; hazard ratio for a 10% increment in the proportion of ultra-processed food in the diet 1.12 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.18); P for trend<0.001) and breast cancer risk (n=739 cases; hazard ratio 1.11 (1.02 to 1.22); P for trend=0.02). These results remained statistically significant after adjustment for several markers of the nutritional quality of the diet (lipid, sodium, and carbohydrate intakes and/or a Western pattern derived by principal component analysis). CONCLUSIONS In this large prospective study, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer. Further studies are needed to better understand the relative effect of the various dimensions of processing (nutritional composition, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants) in these associations. STUDY REGISTRATION Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03335644.
Comparison of Sociodemographic and Nutritional Characteristics between Self-Reported Vegetarians, Vegans, and Meat-Eaters from the NutriNet-Santé Study.
BACKGROUND There is a growing trend for vegetarian and vegan diets in many Western countries. Epidemiological evidence suggesting that such diets may help in maintaining good health is rising. However, dietary and sociodemographic characteristics of vegetarians and vegans are not well known. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe sociodemographic and nutritional characteristics of self-reported, adult vegetarians and vegans, compared to meat-eaters, from the French NutriNet-Santé study. METHODS Participants were asked if they were following a specific diet. They were then classified into three self-reported diet groups: 90,664 meat-eaters, 2370 vegetarians, and 789 vegans. Dietary data were collected using three repeated 24-h dietary records. Multivariable polytomic logistic regression models were perfomed to assess the association between the sociodemographic characteristics and type of diet. The prevalence of nutrient intake inadequacy was estimated, by sex and age for micronutrients, as well as by type of self-reported diet. RESULTS Compared with meat-eaters, vegetarians were more likely to have a higher educational level, whereas vegans had a lower education level. Compared with meat-eaters, vegetarians were more likely to be women, younger individuals, and to be self-employed or never employed rather than managerial staff. Vegetarians and vegans substituted animal protein-dense products with a higher consumption of plant protein-dense products (e.g., soy-based products or legumes). Vegetarians had the most balanced diets in terms of macronutrients, but also had a better adherence to French dietary guidelines. Vegetarians exhibited a lower estimated prevalence of inadequacies for micronutrients such as antioxidant vitamins (e.g., for vitamin E, 28.9% for vegetarian women <55 years of age vs. 41.6% in meat-eaters) while vegans exhibited a higher estimated prevalence of inadequacies for some nutrients, in particular vitamin B12 (69.9% in men and 83.4% in women <55 years of age), compared to meat-eaters. CONCLUSIONS Our study highlighted that, overall, self-reported vegetarians and vegans may meet nutritional recommendations.
Relative Influence of Socioeconomic, Psychological and Sensory Characteristics, Physical Activity and Diet on 5-Year Weight Gain in French Adults.
Individual characteristics, dietary intake and physical activity influence weight status; however, the contribution of each factor to weight change has not been studied. The objective was to confirm a conceptual framework by simultaneously assessing the relative influence of socioeconomic, psychological and sensory characteristics, physical activity, and dietary intake on five-year weight gain in French adults. Individual characteristics, physical activity, and dietary data were assessed at baseline in 8014 participants in the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Self-reported anthropometric data were collected at baseline and five years later. Structural equation models, stratified by baseline body mass index (BMI), were used to perform analyses. Dietary restraint was a direct predictor of weight gain, with a stronger effect than age or intake of energy-dense foods, both in non-overweight and overweight participants. In non-overweight individuals only, intake of nutrient-dense foods and physical activity were inversely associated with weight gain. Regarding dietary intake, fat liking was the most important predictor of nutrient-dense food intake and was also related to energy-dense food intake. In these models, dietary restraint appears to be a direct predictor of weight gain and fat liking is a strong determinant of dietary intake. The influence of dietary restraint on weight gain, not explained by diet, warrants further investigation.
Association between Motives for Dish Choices during Home Meal Preparation and Weight Status in the NutriNet-Santé Study.
Although home cooking has been associated with a lower body mass index in a few studies, no data exists on the motives behind food dish choices during home meal preparation and on their association with overweight. This study aimed to evaluate this association in 50,003 participants from the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Dimensions underlying the importance of 27 criteria possibly influencing dish choices were determined using an exploratory factor analysis. The association between dish choice motives and overweight (including obesity) was estimated using logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics. Five dimensions of dishes choice motives emerged: healthy diet (e.g., "nutritional balance of the dish"), constraints (e.g., "my cooking skills"), pleasure (e.g., "originality of the dish"), specific diets (e.g., "my health status"), and organization (e.g., "what I planned to eat"). A negative association was observed between the healthy diet factor and being overweight (OR = 0.65 (95% CI (confidence interval): 0.62-0.67)), whereas a positive association appeared for factors regarding pleasure (OR = 1.14 (95% CI: 1.10-1.19)) and specific diets (OR = 1.19 (95% CI: 1.17-1.22)). No significant associations were observed for constraints and organization. The significant associations between dish choice motives and overweight suggested the interest of focusing on these motives in order to promote healthier food choices during home cooking.
Association between Mindfulness and Weight Status in a General Population from the NutriNet-Santé Study.
PloS one. 2015;(6):e0127447
BACKGROUND Mindfulness is defined as non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. There is some evidence of the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in weight loss. However, this psychological concept has only been rarely explored in observational studies, and no study to date has examined the association between dispositional mindfulness and weight status in a large population-based sample. OBJECTIVE We aimed to examine the relationship between mindfulness scores and weight status in a large sample of the adult general population in France. DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 14,400 men and 49,228 women aged ≥18 y participating in the NutriNet-Santé study were included in this cross-sectional analysis. We collected mindfulness data using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire as well as self-reported weight and height. The association between weight status and dispositional mindfulness, as well as its subscales (observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-judging and non-reactivity), was assessed using multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors. RESULTS Women with higher dispositional mindfulness scores were less likely to be overweight (excluding obesity) (OR quartile 4 vs. 1 = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.79-0.90) and obese (OR quartile 4 vs. 1 = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.65-0.78). In addition, overall, in this group, all subscales were inversely associated with weight status, with the strongest association found for the "observing" subscale. In men, higher mindfulness was associated only with lower odds of obesity (OR quartile 4 vs. 1 = 0.81 (0.69, 0.96)), and only the "observing" and "non-reactivity" subscales were significantly inversely associated with weight status. CONCLUSION Results support the interest of a shift in perspective that takes into account positive psychological and cognitive factors such as dispositional mindfulness in the investigation of obesity and its associated factors.
Sociodemographic profiles regarding bitter food consumption: cross-sectional evidence from a general French population.
Certain beneficial foods taste bitter (e.g., cruciferous vegetables) and might be aversive to consumers. Here, individual characteristics according to bitter food consumption patterns were assessed. The study included 2327 participants in the SU.VI.MAX antioxidant-based randomized controlled trial (1994-2002). The sample was drawn from the general French population. Dietary data were obtained from a minimum of twelve 24-h dietary records provided during the first 2years of follow-up. Two bitter food consumption scores were computed - one assessing the variety of items consumed (unweighted score) and the other reflecting exposure to bitterness estimated via complementary sensory panel data from the EpiPref project (weighted score). Associations with sociodemographic, health, and lifestyle factors were analyzed with multiple linear regression. Among men, the variety of bitter foods consumed was positively associated with educational level and alcohol intake and inversely associated with physical activity and rural area of residence. Among women, the same outcome was positively associated with alcohol intake and inversely associated with diabetes. In turn, Body Mass Index displayed a significant inverse association with the bitterness-weighted score across sex, whereas educational level was supported only in women. This study adds to the presently scant knowledge about non-genetic determinants or moderators of actual bitter food intake. Future studies should elucidate the impact of diabetes and body size on bitter food intake patterns.
Profiles of organic food consumers in a large sample of French adults: results from the Nutrinet-Santé cohort study.
PloS one. 2013;(10):e76998
BACKGROUND Lifestyle, dietary patterns and nutritional status of organic food consumers have rarely been described, while interest for a sustainable diet is markedly increasing. METHODS Consumer attitude and frequency of use of 18 organic products were assessed in 54,311 adult participants in the Nutrinet-Santé cohort. Cluster analysis was performed to identify behaviors associated with organic product consumption. Socio-demographic characteristics, food consumption and nutrient intake across clusters are provided. Cross-sectional association with overweight/obesity was estimated using polytomous logistic regression. RESULTS Five clusters were identified: 3 clusters of non-consumers whose reasons differed, occasional (OCOP, 51%) and regular (RCOP, 14%) organic product consumers. RCOP were more highly educated and physically active than other clusters. They also exhibited dietary patterns that included more plant foods and less sweet and alcoholic beverages, processed meat or milk. Their nutrient intake profiles (fatty acids, most minerals and vitamins, fibers) were healthier and they more closely adhered to dietary guidelines. In multivariate models (after accounting for confounders, including level of adherence to nutritional guidelines), compared to those not interested in organic products, RCOP participants showed a markedly lower probability of overweight (excluding obesity) (25 ≤ body mass index<30) and obesity (body mass index ≥ 30): -36% and -62% in men and -42% and -48% in women, respectively (P<0.0001). OCOP participants (%) generally showed intermediate figures. CONCLUSIONS Regular consumers of organic products, a sizeable group in our sample, exhibit specific socio-demographic characteristics, and an overall healthy profile which should be accounted for in further studies analyzing organic food intake and health markers.