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Modeled industry-wide food and beverage reformulations reduce the gap between current and nutritionally adequate dietary intakes among French adults

Maillot, Matthieu, Privet, Lisa, Masset, Gabriel
European journal of nutrition 2020 v.59 no.3 pp. 1123-1134
adults, beverages, dietary recommendations, food availability, food intake, national surveys, nutrient content, nutrient databanks, nutritional adequacy
PURPOSE: The objective was to assess the capacity of food reformulations to reduce the required dietary changes to reach overall nutritional adequacy in the French adult population. METHODS: Reformulation standards, defined using the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System (NNPS), were applied to the French food composition database (CIQUAL-2013), classifying foods into “PASS” or “FAIL”. Baseline nutritional intakes were estimated for 1838 adults of the INCA2 French national survey according to three scenarios based on: (1) the original food composition database (CURRENT), (2) a “reformulated” database in which the nutrient composition of FAIL products was adjusted to the NNPS standards (REFORMULATION), and (3) a “substituted” database in FAIL products were replaced by the most nutritionally similar PASS products from the same NNPS-category (SUBSTITUTION). For each scenario, starting from each baseline diet, a new optimized diet was modeled to fulfill a complete set of nutrient recommendations while remaining closest to the respective baseline diet. To quantify the dietary changes needed to reach nutritional adequacy in the optimized diets, the total dietary deviation (TDD) was calculated as the sum in quantities (grams) of the absolute difference between observed and optimized amount of repertoire foods (i.e., foods already consumed) plus the amount of non-repertoire foods (i.e., new foods added). RESULTS: TDD was significantly lower in the REFORMULATION and the SUBSTITUTION scenarios compared to CURRENT (1269 g/day, 1191 g/day and 1494 g/day, respectively). This was explained by smaller shifts among repertoire foods and less additions of non-repertoire foods. CONCLUSIONS: Nutritional reformulation of the food supply may reduce the dietary changes required to achieve nutritionally adequate diets, but would not suffice to reach the complete set of nutrient recommendations.