Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

From ultra-processed foods to ultra-processed dietary patterns

The dietary and health impacts of ultra-processed foods can be understood across the nutri-biochemical, food and dietary pattern levels. Each level reveals distinct dimensions and characteristics that can inform our scientific analysis and policy responses accordingly.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Monteiro, C. A. et al. Public Health Nutr. 21, 5–17 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Monteiro, C. A. et al. Public Health Nutr. 22, 936–941 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Scrinis, G. Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice (Columbia Univ. Press, 2013).

  4. Jacobs, D. R. & Steffen, L. M. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 78, 508S–513S (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. da Costa Louzada, M. L. et al. Rev. Saude Publica 49, 45 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Martini, D., Godos, J., Bonaccio, M., Vitaglione, P. & Grosso, G. Nutrients 13, 3390 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Machado, P. et al. Eur. J. Nutr. (2022).

  8. Marrón‐Ponce, J. A., Sánchez‐Pimienta, T. G., Rodríguez‐Ramírez, S., Batis, C. & Cediel, G. J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. (2022).

  9. Chazelas, E. et al. Sci. Rep. 11, 19680 (2021).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Barabási, A.-L., Menichetti, G. & Loscalzo, J. Nat. Food 1, 33–37 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Scrinis, G. J. Peasant Stud. 43, 17–37 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Tobias, D. K. & Hall, K. D. Cell Metab. 33, 2314–2315 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Srour, B. et al. Lancet Gastroenterol. Hepatol. (2022).

  14. Fardet, A. Adv. Food Nutr. Res. 85, 79–129 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Inglett, G. Fabricated Foods (AVI Publishing, 1975).

  16. Davidou, S., Christodoulou, A., Frank, K. & Fardet, A. J. Food Compost. Anal. 99, 103848 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Astrup, A. & Monteiro, C. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (2022).

  18. Julia, C. et al. Eur. J. Nutr. (2022).

  19. Baker, P. et al. Obes. Rev. 21, e13126 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Scrinis, G. BMJ 371, m4601 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Machado, P. P. et al. BMJ Open 9, e029544 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Martínez Steele, E., Popkin, B. M., Swinburn, B. & Monteiro, C. A. Popul. Health Metr. 15, 1–11 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hall, K. D. et al. Cell Metab. 30, 67–77.e3 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Marron-Ponce, J. A., Tolentino-Mayo, L., Hernandez, F. M. & Batis, C. Nutrients 11, 45 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Scrinis, G. Glob. Food Sec. 26, 100396 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Elizabeth, L., Machado, P., Zinöcker, M., Baker, P. & Lawrence, M. Nutrients 12, 1955 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Pagliai, G. et al. Br. J. Nutr. 125, 308–318 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Nestle, M. Am. J. Public Health 112, 853–858 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gyorgy Scrinis.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Food thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Scrinis, G., Monteiro, C. From ultra-processed foods to ultra-processed dietary patterns. Nat Food 3, 671–673 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing