In line with ATNI’s mission to transform markets to deliver healthy, sustainable diets for all, it is imperative to understand and address the rising concerns related to the supply of processed food and its consumption.

Numerous high-quality cohort studies have consistently shown that increased consumption of ultra- or highly processed foods has a profound impact on health, escalating risks of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and all-cause mortality. While several trials are underway to garner more conclusive evidence, the precise factors associated with disease risk and their causal mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Moreover, there is a lack of scientific consensus on one or more classification schemes to characterize foods and beverages based on levels of processing.

In 2023, when finalizing the methodology for ATNI’s 5th Global Index, to be published by the end of 2024, the topic of processed foods was discussed extensively with all of our stakeholders.

As a result ATNI decided to prepare this discussion paper to outline the various issues regarding the classification of processed foods to stimulate discourse towards solutions. Presently, detailed information on the supply of highly processed foods globally and at country level is scarce. However, once available and based on a suitable approach to classifying the level and type of processing, such data could inform future research, public health interventions, and policies.

Read ATNI Discussion Paper Here

Once the development and implementation of a viable classification scheme has been completed, ATNI will integrate this framework into its methodology.

In the interim, ATNI remains committed to shape markets, incentivizing manufacturers to develop and deliver products with processing approaches that promote health, while maintaining taste, safety, shelf-life, nutritional quality, and are profitable.

As we continue our journey to transform markets to enable healthy and sustainable diets for all, we invite you to stay connected with ATNI and join us in our mission. Follow us on our social media channels and continue to check our website to stay informed about the latest developments and the forthcoming release of ATNI’s flagship Global Index 2024 which will assess the world’s 30 largest food and beverage manufacturers.

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