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Mapping food additives present in ultra-processed foods in Brazil and describing their potential health risks

Grant number: 22/01654-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nutrition
Principal Investigator:Neha Khandpur
Grantee:Julia Nascimbem Blaser
Host Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/24030-0 - Assessing the impact of front-of-package nutrition labeling on public health in Brazil, AP.JP


There is a worldwide trend of increased consumption of ultra-processed foods, especially in middle-income countries such as Brazil, with the replacement of traditional diets based on fresh or minimally processed foods, for ultra-processed foods. As a result, there is a deterioration in the nutritional profile of the diet and health of the population. The consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with overweight and obesity, the development of non-communicable chronic diseases, and mortality. This scenario is usually associated with their high content of sugars, fats, and sodium, while the impact of the multiple and cumulative ingestion of food additives contained in ultra-processed foods (some of them prohibited in the European Union and/or the United States) is still understudied. Although the label of these foods often does not provide clear information about all the added additives, recent studies have sought to map the additives present in foods sold in countries such as France and Brazil. It is necessary to deepen the research on this topic to establish a better correlation between the most consumed ultra-processed foods in Brazil by adolescents and adults, and the potential health risks attributed to the food additives. It includes the identification of flaws and possible improvements to be proposed in food additives labeling, as well as of products eligible for displaying a label following Anvisa's new nutritional labeling standards, with the indication of a high content of added sugars, and saturated fats, and sodium. Thus, the goal of this study is to present data that contribute to the review and development of new public policies aimed at food and nutritional security in the country and support the reduction of the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the improvement of the population's health. (AU)

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