Health Reports

A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

November 2020

Consumption of ultra-processed foods in Canada

by Jane Y. Polsky, Jean-Claude Moubarac, and Didier Garriguet

Ultra-processed food and drink products (UPF) now dominate the food supply in high-income nations, including Canada, and their sales and consumption have been steadily increasing in lower-middle- and middle-income countries. In 2016, per capita sales of UPF were estimated at 275 kg per year in Canada, the fourth highest among 80 countries. Introduced a decade ago by researchers at Brazil’s University of São Paolo, the concept of UPF refers food and drink products that are industrial formulations of mostly cheap sources of dietary energy and nutrients, along with additives. These products are manufactured using a series of processes (hence “ultra-processed”) and contain few whole foods, if any. Typical examples include soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages, sweet and savoury packaged snacks, mass-produced industrial breads, reconstituted meat products such as burgers and hot dogs, and fast-food and frozen dishes. As a group, these products are characterized by convenience (i.e., durable, ready-to-eat), hyper-palatability, attractive packaging and extensive marketing

Abstract Full article PDF version The Daily release

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Consumption of ultra-processed foods in Canada

Smoking patterns based on birth-cohort-specific histories from 1965 to 2013, with projections to 2041

by Douglas G. Manuel, Andrew S. Wilton, Carol Bennett, Adrian Rohit Dass, Audrey Laporte, and Theodore R. Holford

In most countries, including Canada, smoking remains the leading cause of mortality that is attributable to health behaviour. To monitor progress in reducing smoking prevalence, studies have relied on observing smoking prevalence trends using either general population health surveys, such as the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), or tobacco-focused surveys, such as the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey. Two properties of smoking history are important in assessing the effect of anti-smoking strategies: life-course smoking exposure and smoking initiation and cessation information. Life-course smoking exposure is important because smoking-attributable chronic diseases have a long latency. Initiation and cessation information are essential to assess the two main strategies for reducing smoking prevalence (i.e., strategies to reduce smoking initiation or increase smoking cessation).

Abstract Full article PDF version The Daily release

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Smoking patterns based on birth-cohort-specific histories from 1965 to 2013, with projections to 2041

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