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Processed foods purchase profiles in urban India in 2013 and 2016: a cluster and multivariate analysis

Tak, M., Law, C. ORCID:, Green, R., Shankar, B. and Cornelsen, L. (2022) Processed foods purchase profiles in urban India in 2013 and 2016: a cluster and multivariate analysis. BMJ Open, 12 (10). e062254. ISSN 2044-6055

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-062254


Objectives Sales of ultraprocessed foods (UPFs) and beverages are rising in low-income and middle-income countries. Such foods are often linked with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension—diseases that are on the rise in India. This paper analysed patterns in purchases of processed and UPF by urban Indian households. Setting Panel data from Kantar —Worldpanel Division, India for 2013 and 2016. Participants 58 878 urban Indian households. Methods We used K-mean partition clustering and multivariate regression to analyse patterns in processed food (PF) and UPF purchase for urban India. Results Three-quarters of urban Indian households purchased over ten PF groups. Mean per person annual PF purchase was 150 kg. UPF purchase was low at 6.4 kg in 2016 but had grown by 6% since 2013. Cluster analysis identified three patterns of consumption, characterised by low (54% of the households in 2016), medium (36%) and high (10%) PF purchase quantities. High cluster households purchased over three times as much PFs and UPF as the low cluster households. Notably, salt purchases were persistently high across clusters in both years (>3.3 kg), while sweet snack and ready-to- eat food purchases grew consistently in all clusters between 2013 and 2016. A positive and significant association was found between household purchases of UPF and their socioeconomic status as well as ownership of durables, such as refrigerator, colour television and washing machine (all p<0.001). Spatial characteristics including size of town (p<0.05) in which the household is located were also positively associated with the purchase of UPF. Conclusion Results suggest the need for tailored regional and city level interventions to curb the low but growing purchase of UPF. New data on obesity and rise of non-communicable diseases, the results are concerning given the links between lifestyle changes and the speed of urbanisation in Indian cities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:108273
Publisher:BMJ Group


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