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Energy density of the Scottish diet estimated from food purchase data: relationship with socio-economic position and dietary targets

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wendy Wrieden


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Frequent consumption of energy-dense foods has been strongly implicated in the global increase of obesity. The World Cancer ResearchFund suggests a population-level energy density (ED) goal for diets of 523 kJ/100 g (125 kcal/100 g) as desirable for reducing weight gainand related co-morbidities. However, there is limited information about the ED of diets of contemporary populations. The aims of the presentstudy were to (1) estimate the mean ED of the Scottish diet, (2) assess differences in ED over time by socio-economic position, byhousehold (HH) composition and for HH meeting dietary targets for fat and fruit and vegetables, and (3) assess the relationship betweenED and the consumption of foods and nutrients, which are indicative of diet quality. ED of the diet was estimated from food (includingmilk) from UK food purchase survey data. The average ED of the Scottish diet was estimated as 718 kJ/100 g with no change between thesurvey periods 2001 and 2009. Individuals living in the most deprived areas had a higher mean ED than those living in the least deprivedareas (737 v. 696 kJ/100 g). Single-parent HH had the highest mean ED (765 kJ/100 g) of all the HH surveyed. The mean ED of HH achievingdietary targets for fat and fruit and vegetables was 576 kJ/100 g compared with 731 kJ/100 g for non-achievers. HH within the lowest quintileof ED were, on average, closest to meeting most dietary guidelines. Food purchase data can be used to monitor the quality of the diet interms of dietary ED of the population and subgroups defined by an area-based measure of socio-economic status.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barton KL, Wrieden WL, Sherriff A, Armstrong J, Anderson AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2014

Volume: 112

Issue: 1

Pages: 80-88

Print publication date: 14/07/2014

Online publication date: 07/05/2014

Acceptance date: 16/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0007-1145

ISSN (electronic): 1475-2662

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007114514000294


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