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Abstract

In France, around 70% of conventional industrial foods are ultra-processed, with no data for organic foods. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the percentage of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) in industrially packaged organic (n = 8,554) and conventional (n = 45,791) foods, and to describe their marker of ultra-processing (MUP) profiles. The percentage of UPFs and MUP profiles were determined with the Siga methodology. UPF percentages were 53% in organic foods and 74% in conventional foods, and there was 8% more organic UPFs in conventional stores than in organic stores. The more additive MUPs are used, the greater the quantity of nonadditive MUPs. Conventional UPFs contained twice as many total MUPs as organic UPFs. Main MUPs in organic UPFs were refined oils, extracts and natural aromas, native starches, glucose syrup, lecithins, and citric acid. Organic foods are therefore overall less ultra-processed although still containing high levels of nonadditive MUPs.

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... Half of the organic products included in the study were nevertheless ultra-processed, which is consistent with the results obtained using the SIGA classification (53%; n = 8554) [73], because although artificial flavourings are prohibited and fewer additives are authorised in organic farming, most UPF markers were ultra-processed ingredients such as glucose syrup. This is all the more true for organic foods found in conventional stores: 81.16% of UPFs vs. 56.92% in organic food stores. ...
... This is all the more true for organic foods found in conventional stores: 81.16% of UPFs vs. 56.92% in organic food stores. The same difference was observed in other studies [73,74], although our findings are higher than those of Desquilbet et al. [74], who recorded 31.4% and 26.8% respectively because their analysis included non-pre-packaged foods, i.e., raw foods. Our results are also higher than analyses performed using the SIGA classification [73], which found 56% and 48% of UPFs respectively even though the SIGA indicator includes more markers, which suggests that, even in the case of organic products, children's foods are more often ultra-processed. ...
... The same difference was observed in other studies [73,74], although our findings are higher than those of Desquilbet et al. [74], who recorded 31.4% and 26.8% respectively because their analysis included non-pre-packaged foods, i.e., raw foods. Our results are also higher than analyses performed using the SIGA classification [73], which found 56% and 48% of UPFs respectively even though the SIGA indicator includes more markers, which suggests that, even in the case of organic products, children's foods are more often ultra-processed. ...
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Food packaging marketing techniques which appeal to children (such as cartoon characters and brand mascots) affect children’s choices, preferences, and eating habits. Several studies have assessed the nutritional quality of food intended to children in various countries and concluded that most were high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) and ultra-processed foods. The aim of this study is to analyse products intended for children over the age of 3 (foods and beverages with relevant marketing elements on the packaging) available on the French market as regards: (1) nutritional quality, based on the Nutri-Score labelling system, (2) compliance with expected nutritional profile suitable for children, according to the criteria of the WHO Europe Nutrient Profile Model, and (3) degree of processing, as defined by the NOVA classification, from packaging collected in 20 stores (hyper/supermarkets, hard-discount retail chains, and organic food stores). The marketing strategies most often used on children’s products are cartoons (97.22%; n = 1120) and mascots (77.78%; n = 896). A total of 1155 products were included in the study, most of which were sugary foods: almost a quarter of the products in the sample (23.81%; n = 275) list a sweetener as the first ingredient, and most of them (89.52%; n = 1034) contain free sugars according to the WHO definition. All the products included in our study feature marketing elements targeting on the packaging, yet 94.88% do not meet the criteria of the WHO Europe Nutrient Profile Model. Most (58.68%; n = 676) belong to Nutri-Score groups D and E, with the highest proportion in group D (39.32%; n = 453) and are ultra-processed (87.97%; n = 1016), especially through the use of flavourings and ultra-processed sugars. Using the Nutri-Score, the WHO Europe Nutrient Profile Model, and the NOVA classification, this study suggests that a significant share of pre-packaged foods marketed to children do not have an adequate nutritional profile. As such, measures are needed to regulate what marketing elements aimed at children can be included on packaging, based on these criteria.
... All three metrics are linked to global health and are interconnected, so if one of the three dimensions is not fully addressed, the diet moves away from the target of sustainable global health. For example, replacing animal foods with ultra-processed plant-based meat substitutes [22] or consuming organic UPFs, such as industrially processed ready-to-eat meals or bakery products, among others [23], will not necessarily lead to substantial improvement in global health. The 3V index also implies that meeting or improving nutritional needs (Vegetal and Varied metrics) is not sufficient to prevent chronic diseases (such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension or hepatic steatosis) if the food matrix environment of the nutrients and calories (Real metric) is too highly degraded [24], notably by a high level of processing applied to vegetal foods (e.g., highly refined grains, sugar sweetened beverages, or industrial sweets and desserts) [25] or ultra-processing [11,26,27], as reported in the Chinese [28] and French [29] diet transitions, where nutritional adequacy is insufficient to prevent high level of chronic disease prevalence. ...
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The Indian diet is becoming westernized with a potential threat to human health. This ecological study aimed at analyzing the nutritional transition in India during the 1990-2019 period within the framework of the newly developed 3V index, considering the degree of processing starting with industrially processed foods (IPFs, i.e., the Real/’Vrai’ metric 1), plant/animal calorie ratio (i.e., the Vegetal metric 2), and diversity of food intake (i.e., the Varied metric 3). Total and food group (n = 14) caloric intakes, percentages of animal and IPF calories, adequacy to the Indian Recommended Dietary Allowances, and prevalence of chronic diseases were retrieved from web databases (e.g., OECD.Stats, Our World in Data and FAO-STAT) and Indian food composition ta-ble. The total calorie intake increased by 31% over thirty years, being mainly linked to increased consumption of dairy products and IPF, but still remains below the average recommended in-take in 2019. The IPF and animal calorie shares increased from 3.6 to 11.6% and 15.1 to 24.3%, re-spectively, while micronutrient intakes improved in 2019. In the same time, prevalence of overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease mortality increased. In con-clusion, the evolution of the Indian diet deviates from metrics 1 and 2 and improves in metric 3, which may not be a sufficient metric in terms of the alleviation of chronic diseases. Therefore, while improving food diversity and replacing refined with wholegrain cereals, Indian should also curb increasing their consumption of IPF and animal calories.
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Worldwide, foods are scored with composition indices. However, processing scores are now emerging. The objective of this study was to study the interconnectedness of the degree of processing and composition for 28,747 industrially packaged foods (71.6% of ultra-processed foods, UPFs) representative of retail assortments. The Nutri-score and Traffic Light Labelling System (TLLS) were used to assess the composition, and the Siga index was used to assess the degree of processing. On average, the more nutritionally favourable Nutri-score and TLLS groups exhibited 56.5 and 50.0% UPFs, respectively. Among markers of ultra-processing non-additives mostly included added fat/sugar/fibre/vitamin, animal and/or plant protein isolates, and taste exhausters, while additives mostly included sweeteners and taste exhausters, suggesting that markers of ultra-processing (MUP) are added to foods to improve composition scores. In conclusion, both types of scores are not complementary as such but obey to a fundamental hierarchy: processing first, then composition if necessary.
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This commentary contains a clear and simple guide designed to identify ultra-processed foods. It responds to the growing interest in ultra-processed foods among policy makers, academic researchers, health professionals, journalists and consumers concerned to devise policies, investigate dietary patterns, advise people, prepare media coverage, and when buying food and checking labels in shops or at home. Ultra-processed foods are defined within the NOVA classification system, which groups foods according to the extent and purpose of industrial processing. Processes enabling the manufacture of ultra-processed foods include the fractioning of whole foods into substances, chemical modifications of these substances, assembly of unmodified and modified food substances, frequent use of cosmetic additives and sophisticated packaging. Processes and ingredients used to manufacture ultra-processed foods are designed to create highly profitable (low-cost ingredients, long shelf-life, emphatic branding), convenient (ready-to-consume), hyper-palatable products liable to displace all other NOVA food groups, notably unprocessed or minimally processed foods. A practical way to identify an ultra-processed product is to check to see if its list of ingredients contains at least one item characteristic of the NOVA ultra-processed food group, which is to say, either food substances never or rarely used in kitchens (such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or interesterified oils, and hydrolysed proteins), or classes of additives designed to make the final product palatable or more appealing (such as flavours, flavour enhancers, colours, emulsifiers, emulsifying salts, sweeteners, thickeners, and antifoaming, bulking, carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents).
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The present commentary contains a clear and simple guide designed to identify ultra-processed foods. It responds to the growing interest in ultra-processed foods among policy makers, academic researchers, health professionals, journalists and consumers concerned to devise policies, investigate dietary patterns, advise people, prepare media coverage, and when buying food and checking labels in shops or at home. Ultra-processed foods are defined within the NOVA classification system, which groups foods according to the extent and purpose of industrial processing. Processes enabling the manufacture of ultra-processed foods include the fractioning of whole foods into substances, chemical modifications of these substances, assembly of unmodified and modified food substances, frequent use of cosmetic additives and sophisticated packaging. Processes and ingredients used to manufacture ultra-processed foods are designed to create highly profitable (low-cost ingredients, long shelf-life, emphatic branding), convenient (ready-to-consume), hyper-palatable products liable to displace all other NOVA food groups, notably unprocessed or minimally processed foods. A practical way to identify an ultra-processed product is to check to see if its list of ingredients contains at least one item characteristic of the NOVA ultra-processed food group, which is to say, either food substances never or rarely used in kitchens (such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or interesterified oils, and hydrolysed proteins), or classes of additives designed to make the final product palatable or more appealing (such as flavours, flavour enhancers, colours, emulsifiers, emulsifying salts, sweeteners, thickeners, and anti-foaming, bulking, carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents).
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Organic agriculture is proposed as a promising approach to achieving sustainable food systems, but its feasibility is also contested. We use a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyze the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems. Here we show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces N-surplus and pesticide use. However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario. Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve, but adequate nitrogen supply is challenging. Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to address waste, crop–grass–livestock interdependencies and human consumption. None of the corresponding strategies needs full implementation and their combined partial implementation delivers a more sustainable food future.
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This review summarises existing evidence on the impact of organic food on human health. It compares organic vs. conventional food production with respect to parameters important to human health and discusses the potential impact of organic management practices with an emphasis on EU conditions. Organic food consumption may reduce the risk of allergic disease and of overweight and obesity, but the evidence is not conclusive due to likely residual confounding, as consumers of organic food tend to have healthier lifestyles overall. However, animal experiments suggest that identically composed feed from organic or conventional production impacts in different ways on growth and development. In organic agriculture, the use of pesticides is restricted, while residues in conventional fruits and vegetables constitute the main source of human pesticide exposures. Epidemiological studies have reported adverse effects of certain pesticides on children’s cognitive development at current levels of exposure, but these data have so far not been applied in formal risk assessments of individual pesticides. Differences in the composition between organic and conventional crops are limited, such as a modestly higher content of phenolic compounds in organic fruit and vegetables, and likely also a lower content of cadmium in organic cereal crops. Organic dairy products, and perhaps also meats, have a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventional products. However, these differences are likely of marginal nutritional significance. Of greater concern is the prevalent use of antibiotics in conventional animal production as a key driver of antibiotic resistance in society; antibiotic use is less intensive in organic production. Overall, this review emphasises several documented and likely human health benefits associated with organic food production, and application of such production methods is likely to be beneficial within conventional agriculture, e.g., in integrated pest management.
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Purpose: Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a multicomponent condition, is a cardiovascular disease predictor. Although exposure to agricultural pesticides has been suggested as a potential contributor to the rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other features of metabolic disorders, no studies have focused on the association between consumption of organic food (produced without synthetic pesticides) and MetS. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between organic food consumption and MetS in French adults to determine whether it would be worth conducting further studies, particularly large prospective and randomised trials. Methods: A total of 8174 participants from the NutriNet-Santé study who attended a clinical visit and completed an organic food frequency questionnaire were included in this cross-sectional analysis. We evaluated the association between the proportion of organic food in the diet (overall and by food group) and MetS using Poisson regression models while adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Higher organic food consumption was negatively associated with the prevalence of MetS: adjusted prevalence ratio was 0.69 (95% CI 0.61, 0.78) when comparing the third tertile of proportion of organic food in the diet with the first one (p value <0.0001). Higher consumption of organic plant-based foods was also related to a lower probability of having MetS. In addition, when stratifying by lifestyle factors (nutritional quality of the diet, smoking status, and physical activity), a significant negative association was detected in each subgroup (p values <0.05), except among smokers. Conclusions: Our results showed that a higher organic food consumption was associated with a lower probability of having MetS. Additional prospective studies and randomised trials are required to ascertain the relationship between organic food consumption and metabolic disorders.
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Objective To review the available literature on the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and body fat during childhood and adolescence. Design A systematic review was conducted in the PubMed, Web of Science and LILACS databases. Studies that evaluated the association between consumption of ultra-processed food (exposure) and body fat (outcome) during childhood and adolescence were eligible. Subjects Healthy children and adolescents. Results Twenty-six studies that evaluated groups of ultra-processed foods (such as snacks, fast foods, junk foods and convenience foods) or specific ultra-processed foods (soft drinks/sweetened beverages, sweets, chocolate and ready-to-eat cereals) were selected. Most of the studies ( n 15) had a cohort design. Consumption was generally evaluated by means of FFQ or food records; and body composition, by means of double indirect methods (bioelectrical impedance analysis and skinfolds). Most of the studies that evaluated consumption of groups of ultra-processed foods and soft drinks/sweetened beverages found positive associations with body fat. Conclusions Our review showed that most studies have found positive associations between consumption of ultra-processed food and body fat during childhood and adolescence. There is a need to use a standardized classification that considers the level of food processing to promote comparability between studies.
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Background: Organically produced foods are less likely than conventionally produced foods to contain pesticide residues. Methods: We examined the hypothesis that eating organic food may reduce the risk of soft tissue sarcoma, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other common cancers in a large prospective study of 623 080 middle-aged UK women. Women reported their consumption of organic food and were followed for cancer incidence over the next 9.3 years. Cox regression models were used to estimate adjusted relative risks for cancer incidence by the reported frequency of consumption of organic foods. Results: At baseline, 30%, 63% and 7% of women reported never, sometimes, or usually/always eating organic food, respectively. Consumption of organic food was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of all cancer (n=53 769 cases in total) (RR for usually/always vs never=1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99–1.07), soft tissue sarcoma (RR=1.37, 95% CI: 0.82–2.27), or breast cancer (RR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.02–1.15), but was associated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (RR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.65–0.96). Conclusions: In this large prospective study there was little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, except possibly for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
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In 2007 the EU Regulation (EC) 834/2007 introduced principles and criteria for organic food processing. These regulations have been analysed and discussed in several scientific publications and research project reports. Recently organic food quality was described by principles, aspects and criteria. These principles from organic agriculture were verified and adapted for organic food processing. Different levels for evaluation were suggested. In another document, underlying paradigms and consumer perception of organic food were reviewed against functional food, resulting in identifying integral product identity as the underlying paradigm and a holistic quality view connected to naturalness as consumerś perception of organic food quality. In an European study, the quality concept was applied to the organic food chain, resulting in a problem, namely that clear principles and related criteria were missing to evaluate processing methods. Therefore the goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the topic of organic food processing to make it operational. A conceptual background for organic food processing is given by verifying the underlying paradigms and principles of organic farming and organic food as well as on organic processing. The proposed definition connects organic processing to related systems such as minimal, sustainable and careful, gentle processing and describes clear principles and related criteria. Based on food examples, such as milk with different heat treatments, the concept and definitions were verified. Organic processing can be defined by clear paradigms and principles and evaluated according criteria from a multidimensional approach. Further work has to be done on developing indicators and parameters for assessment of organic food quality.
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The health benefits of organic foods are unclear. To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods. MEDLINE (January 1966 to May 2011), EMBASE, CAB Direct, Agricola, TOXNET, Cochrane Library (January 1966 to May 2009), and bibliographies of retrieved articles. English-language reports of comparisons of organically and conventionally grown food or of populations consuming these foods. 2 independent investigators extracted data on methods, health outcomes, and nutrient and contaminant levels. 17 studies in humans and 223 studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in foods met inclusion criteria. Only 3 of the human studies examined clinical outcomes, finding no significant differences between populations by food type for allergic outcomes (eczema, wheeze, atopic sensitization) or symptomatic Campylobacter infection. Two studies reported significantly lower urinary pesticide levels among children consuming organic versus conventional diets, but studies of biomarker and nutrient levels in serum, urine, breast milk, and semen in adults did not identify clinically meaningful differences. All estimates of differences in nutrient and contaminant levels in foods were highly heterogeneous except for the estimate for phosphorus; phosphorus levels were significantly higher than in conventional produce, although this difference is not clinically significant. The risk for contamination with detectable pesticide residues was lower among organic than conventional produce (risk difference, 30% [CI, -37% to -23%]), but differences in risk for exceeding maximum allowed limits were small. Escherichia coli contamination risk did not differ between organic and conventional produce. Bacterial contamination of retail chicken and pork was common but unrelated to farming method. However, the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to 3 or more antibiotics was higher in conventional than in organic chicken and pork (risk difference, 33% [CI, 21% to 45%]). Studies were heterogeneous and limited in number, and publication bias may be present. The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. None.
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We prospectively investigated whether organic food consumption by infants was associated with developing atopic manifestations in the first 2 years of life. The KOALA Birth Cohort Study in the Netherlands (n 2764) measured organic food consumption, eczema and wheeze in infants until age 2 years using repeated questionnaires. Diet was defined as conventional ( 90 % organic). Venous blood samples taken from 815 infants at 2 years of age were analysed for total and specific IgE. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to control for potential confounding factors. Eczema was present in 32 % of infants, recurrent wheeze in 11 % and prolonged wheezing in 5 %. At 2 years of age, 27 % of children were sensitised against at least one allergen. Of all the children, 10 % had consumed a moderately organic diet and 6 % a strictly organic diet. Consumption of organic dairy products was associated with lower eczema risk (OR 0.64 (95 % CI 0.44, 0.93)), but there was no association of organic meat, fruit, vegetables or eggs, or the proportion of organic products within the total diet with the development of eczema, wheeze or atopic sensitisation. Further studies to substantiate these results are warranted.
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Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are characterized by the presence of markers of ultra-processing (MUP), either additives (A-MUP) or non-additive ingredients (NA-MUP). The present study aims to characterize the MUP profile of approximately 22,000 UPFs, representative of assortments in French supermarkets. UPFs were ranked according to Siga classification within five UPF technological groups, from C01 to C3, depending on the nature and number of MUPs (MUP1 and MUP2), presence of risk-associated additives, and contents of salt, sugar and/or fat. Then, UPFs were categorized within 10 food categories. The results showed that UPFs contain more NA-MUPs than A-MUPs, on average 1.3 more by UPF. The main MUPs are NA-MUPs, i.e., refined oils (52.5 % of UPFs), extracts and natural aromas (42.7 %), synthetic aromas (26.5 %), glucose syrup (20.0 %), native starches (19.1 %), and dextrose (16.2 %). The NA-MUP/UPF and A-MUP/UPF ratios were not correlated in the 10 food categories. Among UPFs, 19 % contained only one MUP, and 31 % contained more than five MUPs. In conclusion, additives are not a sufficient marker of ultra-processing. It is proposed that NA-MUPs in UPFs should be taken into greater consideration and that foods be scored with indices based on the degree of processing, not compositional scores, which fail to filter MUPs.
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Numerous studies have reported the association of ultra-processed foods with excess body weight; however, the nature and extent of this relation has not been clearly established. This systematic review was conducted to analyze the currently documented evidence regarding the association between ultra-processed food with overweight and obesity. A literature search was performed using multiple literature databases for relevant articles published prior to November 2019. Random effects model, namely the DerSimonian–Laird method, was applied to pool effect sizes. The potential sources of heterogeneity across studies were explored using the Cochrane Q test. Fourteen studies (one cohort study and thirteen cross-sectional studies) were included in this review. A significant association was identified between ultra-processed food intake and overweight (pooled effect size: 1.02; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.01, 1.03, p < 0.001) and obesity (pooled effect size: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.41, p < 0.001). Our findings revealed a positive association between ultra-processed foods and excess body weight. Future studies with longitudinal designs and adequate control for confounding factors are required to clarify whether ultra-processed food intake alters anthropometric parameters and leads to obesity.
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Background: There is a growing availability of industrial plant-based meat and dairy substitutes that can be classified as ultra-processed foods (UPFs). Very little is known about the consumption of UPFs by vegetarians. Objective: The aim of this cross-sectional study, from the NutriNet-Santé cohort, was to describe the contribution of UPFs to different vegetarian diets, in relation to the nutritional quality of their diet, and determinants of UPF consumption, including duration and age at vegetarian diet initiation. Methods: The study population (n = 21,212) was divided into 4 groups: 19,812 meat eaters, 646 pesco-vegetarians, 500 vegetarians, and 254 vegans. Daily food intakes were collected using repeated 24-h dietary records. Vegetarian diets were described by the proportion of energy from UPFs and the nutritional quality of the diet using healthy and unhealthy plant-based diet indices (PDIs). In a subsample without meat eaters (n = 1,400), a multivariable linear regression model was performed to study the association between UPF consumption and its determinants. Results: Higher avoidance of animal-based foods was associated with a higher consumption of UPFs (P < 0.001), with UPFs supplying 33.0%, 32.5%, 37.0%, and 39.5% of energy intakes for meat eaters, pesco-vegetarians, vegetarians, and vegans. The nutritional quality of diets was also associated with the level of animal-based foods avoidance (P < 0.001), with healthy PDIs at 53.5, 60.6, 61.3 and 67.9 for meat-eaters, pesco-vegetarians, vegetarians, and vegans. Short duration and young age at diet initiation were associated with an increased consumption of UPFs (βage at initiation = -0.003, P = 0.001; βduration = -0.002, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Not all vegetarian diets necessarily have health benefits, because of potential adverse effects of UPFs on nutritional quality and healthiness of diet. UPF consumption by vegetarians and their diet characteristics should be considered in future studies on the links between vegetarianism and health. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03335644.
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Consumer demand for organic food is mostly based on the belief that organic products are healthier because they are less contaminated with pesticides. We explain why health benefits from a decreased exposure to pesticides through organic food consumption remain unsubstantiated. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that nonorganic food products contain higher levels of synthetic pesticides. However, a link between the consumption of an organic diet with health benefits is confounded by a number of lifestyle and demographic covariates. We recommend dietary intervention studies be conducted such as randomized double-blind placebo-controlled investigations to determine if a group of individuals consuming an organic wholefood diet or an equivalent nonorganic diet present any differences in health status.
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Background Organic food consumption has steadily increased over the past decade in westernized countries. Objective The aim of this study, based on observational data, was to compare some sustainability features of diets from consumers with varying levels of organic food. Methods The diet sustainability among 29,210 participants of the NutriNet-Santé study was estimated using databases developed within the BioNutriNet project. Four dimensions (nutrition, environment, economy, and toxicology) of diet sustainability were assessed using: 1) nutritional indicators through dietary intakes and dietary scores, and BMI; 2) environmental indicators (greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand, and land occupation); 3) economic indicators via diet monetary costs; and 4) estimated daily food exposures to 15 pesticides. Adjusted means (95% CI) across weighted quintiles of organic food consumption in the diet were estimated via ANCOVA. Breakdown methods were used to disentangle the contribution of the production system (organic compared with conventional) from the dietary pattern in the variation of diet-related environmental impacts, monetary costs, and pesticide exposure, between the 2 extreme quintiles. Results Higher organic food consumption was associated with higher plant-food and lower animal-food consumption, overall nutritional quality (higher dietary scores), and lower BMI. Diet-related greenhouse-gas emissions, cumulative energy demand, and land occupation gradually decreased with increasing organic food consumption, whereas total diet monetary cost increased. Diet exposure to most pesticides decreased across quintiles. Conclusions Diets of high organic food consumers were generally characterized by strong nutritional and environmental benefits. The latter were mostly driven by the low consumption of animal-based foods, whereas the production system was responsible for the higher diet monetary costs, and the overall reduced dietary pesticide exposure.
Article
We propose an empirical study of French sales in conventional food retailing and in specialised organic stores for 2012. We examine the plant or animal origin of food products, as an indicator of the environmental and health impacts of sales, and their degree of processing, as an indicator of their health impact. The results indicate that sales of organic food products are more plant-based and less processed in specialised organic stores than in conventional retail stores, two criteria for a better health and environmental impact. In conventional stores, organic sales are more plant-based and less processed than conventional sales. Organic sales in conventional stores show some specificity, having the highest share of particular product ranges lacking a clear health or environmental impact, such as processed culinary ingredients or unprocessed or minimally processed animal products. Building a typology of buyers in conventional stores, we find that even purchases by buyers with the highest organic purchase intensity in conventional stores are less plant-based and more processed than average purchases in specialised organic stores. Our results characterise to what extent some of the holistic environmental and health impacts of organic agriculture are lower in conventional retail stores than in specialised organic stores in France in 2012.
Article
A lower BMI has been reported among consumers of organic foods, but this relationship has never been examined in a prospective design study. Our aim was to prospectively investigate the association between frequency of organic food consumption and weight change. We analysed data from 62 224 participants of the NutriNet-Santé cohort (78 % women, mean age=45 years) with information on consumption frequency of organic foods, dietary intake and repeated anthropometric data. For sixteen products, participants reported their consumption frequency of labelled organic foods (never, occasionally, most of the time). An organic score (OS) with a maximum of thirty-two points was computed. The associations of the OS (modeled as quartiles (Q)) with change in BMI during follow-up (on average 3·1 years) and with the risk of overweight and obesity were estimated by ANCOVA and multivariable logistic regression. A lower BMI increase was observed across quartiles of the OS (mean difference Q4 v . Q1=−0·16 (95 % CI −0·32, −0·01). An increase in the OS was associated with a lower risk of overweight and obesity (among non-overweight and non-obese participants at inclusion): OR for Q4 v . Q1 were 0·77 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·86) and 0·69 (95 % CI 0·58, 0·82), respectively. Concerning obesity risk, the association was stronger among participants with higher adherence to nutritional guidelines. This study supports a strong protective role of consumption frequency of organic foods with regard to the risk of overweight and obesity that depends on overall dietary quality. Upon confirmation, these results may contribute to fine-tune nutritional guidelines by accounting for farming practices in food production.
Texte consolid e: R eglement (CE) n 889/ 2008 de la Commission du 5 septembre 2008 portant modalit es d'application du r eglement
  • Eur-Lex
EUR-Lex. 2008. Texte consolid e: R eglement (CE) n 889/ 2008 de la Commission du 5 septembre 2008 portant modalit es d'application du r eglement (CE) n 834/2007
Organic agriculture in Europe: trends and statistics
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FIBL. 2021. Organic agriculture in Europe: trends and statistics. In: Tr avn ı cek J, Schaack D, Willer H, editors. Frick, Switzerland: Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL; p. 22.
Organic food and human health - a review
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Srednicka-Tober D, Kazimierczak R, Rembialkowska E. 2015. Organic food and human health -a review. J Res Appl Agric Engin. 60:102-107.
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, and IFOAM - Organics International
  • Ifoam - Organics Fibl
  • International