FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — During the last 18 years, there has been no change in consumption of processed meats among U.S. adults, according to a study published online June 21 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Luxian Zeng, M.D., from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues characterized trends in processed meat consumption in relation to unprocessed red meat, poultry, and fish/shellfish consumption in the past 18 years. Dietary data were obtained from a nationally representative sample of 43,995 U.S adults aged 20 years and older.

The researchers found that in the past 18 years, there was no change in the mean consumption of processed meat among U.S. adults (mean change, 4.22 g/week; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −18.4 to 26.8; P trend = 0.95). In 2015 to 2016, the top five processed meats consumed by U.S. adults were luncheon meat, sausage, hot dogs, ham, and bacon, accounting for 39.3, 24.3, 9.4, 9.4, and 4.6 percent, respectively, of the total processed meat consumption. Mean consumption declined for unprocessed red meat during the same period (mean change, −56.7 g/week; 95 percent CI, −88.0 to −25.4 g/week; P trend < 0.001), while poultry consumption increased (mean change, 47.0 g/week; 95 percent CI, 12.0 to 82.0 g/week; P trend < 0.001) and fish/shellfish consumption did not change (mean change, 1.55 g/week; 95 percent CI, −22.5 to 25.6 g/week; P trend = 0.14). The primary purchase locations for processed meat were stores and fast-food restaurants.

“Findings of this study can inform public health policy priorities for improving diet and reducing chronic disease burden in the Unites States,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and nutrition industries.

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