Table 3

Percentage of total energy intake according to NOVA food groups across quintiles of the dietary share of ultra-processed foods (Australian population aged 2+years (NNPAS 2011–2012) (n = 12 153))

NOVA food groupsQuintiles of the dietary contribution of ultra-processed foods (% of total dietary energy)†
Unprocessed or minimally processed foods54.843.336.027.615.3*
 Red meat and poultry12.*
 Milk and plain yoghurt7.*
 Cereal grains and flours12.*
 Nuts and seeds2.*
 Potatoes and other tubers and roots1.*
Processed culinary ingredients9.*
 Plant oils5.*
 Animal fats2.*
 Table sugar1.*
Processed foods22.719.816.512.97.1*
 Processed breads9.*
 Beer and wine6.*
 Bacon and other salted, smoked or canned meat or fish1.*
 Vegetables and other plant foods preserved in brine0.*
Ultra-processed foods12.828.440.454.174.5*
 Mass-produced packaged breads1.*
 Frozen and shelf stable ready meals††*
 Fast foods dishes‡‡*
 Pastries, buns and cakes0.*
 Breakfast cereals1.*
 Fruit drinks and iced teas1.*
 Sausage and other reconstituted meat products0.*
 Carbonated soft drinks0.*
 Milk-based drinks0.*
 Sauces, dressing and gravies1.*
 Salty snacks0.*
 Ice cream, ice pops and frozen yoghurts0.*
 Margarine and other spreads0.*
 Alcoholic distilled drinks0.*
  • *p<0.05 for linear trend across quintiles of dietary share of ultra-processed foods.

  • †Percentage of total energy intake from ultra-processed foods. Mean (range): Q1= 12.8 (0 to 21.8); Q2= 28.4 (21.8 to 34.6); Q3= 40.4 (34.6 to 46.6); Q4= 54.1 (46.6 to 62.1); Q5= 74.5 (62.1 to 100).

  • ‡Including freshly squeezed juices.

  • §Including meat from other animals, teas, coffees and dried spices.

  • ¶Including honey, maple syrup (100%) and vinegar.

  • **Including salted or sugared nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

  • ††Including frozen lasagna, pizza and other pastas and meals, and instant soups and noodles.

  • ‡‡Including hamburger, pizza and French fries from fast food places.

  • §§Including ultra-processed cheese, baby food and baby formula.

  • NNPAS, National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.