Factors associated with the consumption of voluntarily fortified foods with micronutrients by the Portuguese population

Ana Pimenta-Martins, Daniela Correia, Catarina Carvalho, Carla Lopes, Ana Maria Gomes, Duarte Torres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This study aimed to identify the sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with the consumption of voluntarily fortified foods with micronutrients (Mn-FF) by the Portuguese population, using data from the National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (IAN-AF 2015–2016). Food consumption, sociodemographic and other health-related factors, and physical activity data were computerised using the You Eat & Move e-platform. Foods consumed by participants and labelled foods reported as consumed were included in the database. Mn-FF were considered all foods containing added micronutrients legally authorised, and MN-FF users were those who consumed at least one Mn-FF on at least one of the dietary recall days. Approximately 57% of the population consumed at least one Mn-FF. Children and adolescents consumed significantly more Mn-FF than older age groups. The primary contributors to Mn-FF consumption were breakfast cereals and fat spreads. Being a child (female OR 2.07 [95% CI: 1.52, 2.83]; male OR 4.80 [95% CI: 3.23, 7.14]) or adolescent (female OR 1.62 [95% CI: 1.78, 2.22]; male OR 4.59 [95% CI: 3.26, 6.47]), having a higher level of education (female OR 1.52 [95% CI: 1.17, 1.99]; male OR 1.85 [95% CI: 1.42, 2.42]) and engaging in regular physical activity (female OR 1.31 [95% CI: 1.09, 1.58]; male OR 1.36 [95% CI: 1.11, 1.68]) were factors positively associated with Mn-FF consumption. Conversely, obesity (female OR 0.76 [95% CI: 0.60, 0.96]), living in predominantly rural areas (male OR 0.70 [95% CI: 0.49, 0.91]) and eating fewer mid-meals per day (female OR 0.60 [95% CI: 0.48, 0.76]; male OR 0.64 [95% CI: 0.49, 0.84]) were associated with lower Mn-FF consumption. Younger age, higher education and physical activity practice were positively associated with Mn-FF consumption. These findings provide important insights on priority factors to be considered when deciding on nutrient fortification policies from both public health and food industry perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalNutrition Bulletin
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 May 2024

Keywords

  • Fortification with minerals
  • Fortification with vitamins
  • Fortified food drivers
  • IAN-AF 2015–2016
  • Micronutrients
  • Voluntary food fortification

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