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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


ROMO-AVILES, Mariana  and  ORTIZ-HERNANDEZ, Luis. Contribution of Nova food groups to energy and nutrient supply in Mexican households. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2019, vol.61, n.2, pp.155-165.  Epub Dec 06, 2019. ISSN 0036-3634.


To analyze the contribution of natural, processed and ultra-processed foods to energy and nutrient supply in Mexican households.

Materials and methods:

The database of the National Household Expenditure Survey 2013 was analyzed (n=58 001), which is a cross-sectional survey. Food supply (g/adult equivalent/day) and energy, macro- and micro-nutrient supplies were estimated. Foods were classified following the Nova system. Households sociodemographic characteristics were analyzed as covariates.


Natural foods (NF) contributed with more energy (55.0%) followed by ultra-processed foods (UPF, 21.2%). NF were the main source of most nutrients. Processed culinary ingredients (PCI) and processed foods (PF) had high content of energy, total fats, and saturated fats, but low content of certain micronutrients. Sodium was mainly available in PF (34.6%) and UPF (31.4%). Sugar-sweetened beverages, fast foods, and biscuits and cookies were the main UPF in terms of energy supply.


In Mexican households, the PCI, PF and UPF had low nutritional quality.

Keywords : food-processing industry; food quality; micronutrients; nutritive value.

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