Preprint Article Version 3 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Ultra-processed Foods are the Major Sources of Total Fat, Saturated and Trans-fatty Acids Among Tunisian Preschool and School Children: A Cross-sectional Study

Version 1 : Received: 8 August 2020 / Approved: 9 August 2020 / Online: 9 August 2020 (22:21:25 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 22 August 2021 / Approved: 23 August 2021 / Online: 23 August 2021 (13:51:54 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 4 November 2021 / Approved: 4 November 2021 / Online: 4 November 2021 (11:26:56 CET)

How to cite: Dogui, D.; Doggui, R.; Aljawaldeh, A.; El Ati, J.; El Ati-Hellal, M. Ultra-processed Foods are the Major Sources of Total Fat, Saturated and Trans-fatty Acids Among Tunisian Preschool and School Children: A Cross-sectional Study. Preprints 2020, 2020080228 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0228.v3). Dogui, D.; Doggui, R.; Aljawaldeh, A.; El Ati, J.; El Ati-Hellal, M. Ultra-processed Foods are the Major Sources of Total Fat, Saturated and Trans-fatty Acids Among Tunisian Preschool and School Children: A Cross-sectional Study. Preprints 2020, 2020080228 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0228.v3).

Abstract

Excessive intake of fat and fatty acids is associated with major health hazards such as obesity or chronic diseases. The aim of this study was to provide the first data on total fat, saturated fatty acids (SFA) and trans fatty acids (TFA) intakes and their major food sources in Tunisian children. A total of 1200 children, aged 3 to 9 years old (yo), were randomly selected from primary schools and kindergarten under a cross-sectional design. The 24-hour recall method and food frequency questionnaire were used to assess dietary intake. The energy percentages of total fat, SFA and TFA in Tunisian children were respectively 29.6, 11.4 and 0.15. No sex differences were found. The WHO recommendations for total fat, SFA and TFA were adopted by 58 %, 39 % and 89 % of the study population, respectively. The leading food groups of fat and fatty acids were ultra-processed foods, breakfast cereals and dairy products. The meat, fish, eggs and fish alternatives were the fifth main contributors to the total fat and SFA intakes in Tunisian children. The implementation of a relevant strategy for fat reduction, especially from ultra-processed foods, considered as low nutrient energy-dense products, is needed to promote health among children and prevent diet-related chronic diseases.

Keywords

Trans fatty acids; saturated fatty acids; ultra-processed foods; children; Tunisia

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pediatrics

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