Changes in energy, macronutrient, and food consumption in 47 countries over the last 70 years (1950-2019): a systematic review and meta-analysis
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OBJECTIVES: We aimed to systematically examine trends in dietary energy, macronutrient, and food consumption in different geographic regions. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and organizations for studies and reports using individual-level dietary assessments from 1950 to 2019 (PROSPERO CRD42022302843) and quantified changes using multivariable linear mixed-effects models. RESULTS: We identified 109 articles and reports from 47 countries, including Europe and Australasia (47% of studies), Asia (30%), Latin America (13%), the Middle East (6%), and North America (4%). In Southeast and East Asia, carbohydrate intake decreased, whereas fat consumption increased; the opposite pattern occurred in North America; and fat decreased while carbohydrate intake remained stable in Europe and Australasia. Consumption of carbohydrate and fat were stable in South Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, but data were limited in these regions. A greater increase in national gross domestic product over time was associated with decreased carbohydrate and increased fat and protein intake. Dietary saturated fatty acid intake decreased in Northern and Eastern Europe and was stable in other regions. Changes in food varied by region; East and Southeast Asia increased meat, fish, dairy, egg, fruit, and vegetable consumption and decreased intake of grains, roots and tubers, legumes, whereas North America decreased dairy and red meat but increased eggs, nuts, poultry, and vegetable oil intake. Intakes of fruits, nuts, legumes, and roots and tubers were below recommendations in most regions. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate regional variations in dietary trends and identify countries that would benefit from nutritional policies aimed at decreasing lower-quality carbohydrate foods and increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and dairy.