Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Postgraduate







171Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





Publication Type

3 results found

Coyle DH, Huang L, Shahid M, Gaines A, Di Tanna GL, Louie JCY, Pan X, Marklund M, Neal B, Wu JHYet al., 2022, Socio-economic difference in purchases of ultra-processed foods in Australia: an analysis of a nationally representative household grocery purchasing panel, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1479-5868

Background:Consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with increased risk of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Little is known about current patterns of ultra-processed foods intake in Australia. The aim of this study was to examine the amount and type of ultra-processed foods purchased by Australian households in 2019 and determine whether purchases differed by socio-economic status (SES). We also assessed whether purchases of ultra-processed foods changed between 2015 and 2019. Methods:We used grocery purchase data from a nationally representative consumer panel in Australia to assess packaged and unpackaged grocery purchases that were brought home between 2015 to 2019. Ultra-processed foods were identified according to the NOVA system, which classifies foods according to the nature, extent and purpose of industrial food processing. Purchases of ultra-processed foods were calculated per capita, using two outcomes: grams/day and percent of total energy. The top food categories contributing to purchases of ultra-processed foods in 2019 were identified, and differences in ultra-processed food purchases by SES (Index of Relative Social Advantage and Disadvantage) were assessed using survey-weighted linear regression. Changes in purchases of ultra-processed foods between 2015 to 2019 were examined overall and by SES using mixed linear models.Results:In 2019, the mean ± SD total grocery purchases made by Australian households was 881.1 ± 511.9 g/d per capita. Of this, 424.2 ± 319.0 g/d per capita was attributable to purchases of ultra-processed foods, which represented 56.4% of total energy purchased. The largest food categories contributing to total energy purchased included mass-produced, packaged breads (8.2% of total energy purchased), chocolate and sweets (5.7%), biscuits and crackers (5.7%) and ice-cream and edible ices (4.3%). In 2019, purchases of ultra-processed foods were significantly

Journal article

Roca-Barcelo A, Gaines AM, Sheehan A, Thompson R, Chamberlain RC, Bos B, Belcher RNet al., 2021, Making academia environmentally sustainable: a student perspective, The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 5, Pages: E576-E577, ISSN: 2542-5196

Journal article

Gaines A, Shahid M, Huang L, Davies T, Taylor F, Wu JHY, Neal Bet al., 2021, Deconstructing the supermarket: systematic ingredient disaggregation and the association between ingredient usage and product health indicators for 24,229 Australian foods and beverages, Nutrients, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2072-6643

Unhealthy diets are underpinned by the over-consumption of packaged products. Data describing the ingredient composition of these products is limited. We sought to define the ingredients used in Australian packaged foods and beverages and assess associations between the number of ingredients and existing health indicators. Statements of ingredients were disaggregated, creating separate fields for each ingredient and sub-ingredient. Ingredients were categorised and the average number of ingredients per product was calculated. Associations between number of ingredients and both the nutrient-based Health Star Rating (HSR) and the NOVA level-of-processing classification were assessed. A total of 24,229 products, listing 233,113 ingredients, were included. Products had between 1 and 62 ingredients (median (Interquartile range (IQR)): 8 (3–14)). We identified 915 unique ingredients, which we organised into 17 major and 138 minor categories. ‘Additives’ were contained in the largest proportion of products (64.6%, (15,652/24,229)). The median number of ingredients per product was significantly lower in products with the optimum 5-star HSR (when compared to all other HSR score groups, p-value < 0.001) and significantly higher in products classified as ultra-processed (when compared to all other NOVA classification groups, p-value < 0.001). There is a strong relationship between the number of ingredients in a product and indicators of nutritional quality and level of processing.

Journal article

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