Junk Food and Micronutrient Intakes among Undergraduate Students in Ontario, Canada

Miljak, Samantha
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University of Guelph

Canadian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting unhealthy foods but provide no cut-offs for acceptable intakes. One possible consequence of excess junk food intake is nutrient dilution. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between junk food and micronutrient intakes. Data were obtained through a cross-sectional study of 199 University of Guelph students. Micronutrient intakes were assessed by tertiles of junk food consumption. Total junk foods constituted 20% and 25% of daily kilocalories among male and female participants, respectfully. Micronutrient intakes were similar across tertiles of junk food intake. Participants in the highest tertile of high salt, high fat food intake had significantly higher intakes of sodium. This study shows that, in this population of university students, junk food intakes do not significantly contribute to micronutrient dilution. It may be warranted to limit intakes of junk food based on other dietary components, such as sodium, saturated fat, and/or sugar

Canada, Ontario, junk food, unhealthy food, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, energy-dense foods, ultra-processed foods, undergraduate students, university students, post-secondary students, dietary patterns, micronutrient dilution, Canadian students, Canadian Dietary Guidelines, dietary guidelines