|Title||Ultra-Processing or Oral Processing? A Role for Energy Density and Eating Rate in Moderating Energy Intake from Processed Foods|
|Author(s)||Forde, Ciarán G.; Mars, Monica; Graaf, Kees De|
|Source||Current Developments in Nutrition 4 (2020)3. - ISSN 2475-2991|
Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||eating rate - energy density - energy intake rate - food texture - metabolic disease - obesity - ultra-processed foods - unprocessed foods|
Background: Recent observational data and a controlled in-patient crossover feeding trial show that consumption of "ultra-processed foods" (UPFs), as defined by the NOVA classification system, is associated with higher energy intake, adiposity, and at a population level, higher prevalence of obesity. A drawback of the NOVA classification is the lack of evidence supporting a causal mechanism for why UPFs lead to overconsumption of energy. In a recent study by Hall the energy intake rate in the UPF condition (48 kcal/min) was >50% higher than in the unprocessed condition (31 kcal/min). Extensive empirical evidence has shown the impact that higher energy density has on increasing ad libitum energy intake and body weight. A significant body of research has shown that consuming foods at higher eating rates is related to higher energy intake and a higher prevalence of obesity. Energy density can be combined with eating rate to create a measure of energy intake rate (kcal/min), providing an index of a food's potential to promote increased energy intake. Objective: The current paper compared the association between measured energy intake rate and level of processing as defined by the NOVA classification. Methods: Data were pooled from 5 published studies that measured energy intake rates across a total sample of 327 foods. Results: We show that going from unprocessed, to processed, to UPFs that the average energy intake rate increases from 35.5 ± 4.4, to 53.7 ± 4.3, to 69.4 ± 3.1 kcal/min (P < 0.05). However, within each processing category there is wide variability in the energy intake rate. Conclusions: We conclude that reported relations between UPF consumption and obesity should account for differences in energy intake rates when comparing unprocessed and ultra-processed diets. Future research requires well-controlled human feeding trials to establish the causal mechanisms for why certain UPFs can promote higher energy intake.