An alert study on “degraded nutritional intake” in fast food restaurants

An alert study on degraded nutritional intake in fast food

  • News
  • Posted on 02/26/2021

    1 min read

    Sugar, salt, portion size: consumers who often frequent fast food restaurants run the risk of having “degraded nutritional intake”, warns a study by ANSES, which believes that improving the supply of these restaurants should constitute a “priority”.

    On average, fast food only accounts for 5% of adult food intake, but “its attendance at least once a week doubled between 2006 and 2014 “, emphasizes the National Food Safety Agency. And the recent evolution of their market share, boosted by the health crisis linked to Covid-19, leaves “to predict a greater contribution in the future”.

    Among regular consumers of these establishments, families of foods such as sandwiches, pizzas and pies, as well as sugary drinks (sodas, juices, etc.) “contribute a lot to their nutrient intake”, observes Carine Dubuisson, one of the coordinators of the study published Thursday.

    “It’s not so much the amount of nutrients that will be different, but their nature”, she adds. Thus, the sugars intake will be “more related to sugary drinks“than fruits, lipids will come more from processed products like quiches and pizzas, etc.”

    The authors also found that the portions of ice cream served were larger than in traditional restaurants or at home.

    According to the recommendations of the health agency, revised in 2019, the French are particularly encouraged to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks, meat, fatty, sweet, salty and ultra-processed foods.

    Conversely, they should increase the intake from fruits, vegetables and pulses.

    The ANSES report, which is based on actual consumption data collected in 2014 and 2015, aims to draw up “an inventory of food consumption and nutritional intake” meals taken away from home (fast, traditional and collective catering).

    It focuses on schoolchildren (ages 3 to 17), students, and working adults, who “constitute the main user populations of out-of-home catering”.

    If 80% of the food is taken at home, “every week, eight out of ten people eat one or more meals away from home, so it is still an important subject in the diet of the French”, emphasizes Carine Dubuisson.