1School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Department of Nutrition., São Paulo, Brazil.
Background and Objective: The consumption of ultraprocessed foods (UPF) is related to developing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). People living with HIV (PLWHIV) are constantly at risk of developing NCDs due to the coexistence of viral infection and the side effects of antiretroviral therapy. Investigating the diet can contribute to the better health of PLWHIV. We aimed to examine the intake of UPF and minimally processed foods (MPF) in a group of PLWHIV, compared with a non-infected with HIV (NIWHIV). Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with patients registered at an HIV-specialized outpatient clinic settled in São Paulo, Brazil. The NIWHIV were recruited from social media. The PLWHIV were ≥ 18 years old, with undetectable viral load; they were paired with NIWHIV by sex and age. Dietary intake was assessed by two 24-hour Food Recalls, calculated for energy and macronutrients, and classified according to the percentage of energy intake of MPF and UPF. We compared the two groups to these percentages using Mann-Whitney U-test, adopting p-value<0.05 as significant. We also ranked the foods that contributed the most to the intake of the MPF and UPF for both groups. Results: The sample comprised 76 participants (38 PLWHIV and 38 NIWHIV), aged from 28 to 61 years, 79% men. The PLWHIV had lower consumption of MPF than NIWHIV (34.25% vs. 41.28%; p=0.03). The UPF intake was not different between groups (24.27% vs. 22.98%; p=0.42 for PVWHIV and NIWHIV, respectively). Ranking the MPF, red meat, poultry and egg were at the top for both groups and for the UPF, margarine and flavored drink are highlighted among NIWHIV and PLWHIV, respectively. Conclusions: This study showed the lowest consumption of MPF among PLWHIV compared to NIWHIV. This highlights the importance of paying attention to increasing the consumption of MPF in PLWHIV, which potentially reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Keywords: dietary patterns; NOVA classification; HIV.