The interest in, intent to, and impact of consuming foods fortified with vitamins and minerals, particularly foods of poor nutritional quality, were evaluated among Canadians.
A Canada-wide, online survey of 1200 adults and teens was used to assess the interest in, intent to, and impact of consuming or serving foods fortified under two fortification scenarios (10% and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value). Categories of foods tested were cereal bars, energy bars, flavoured bottled water, frozen desserts, fruit drinks, fruit juice, salty snacks, soda pop, sports drinks, sweet baked goods, and sweets.
The majority of adults and teens were interested in consuming fortified foods and indicated that they would increase their current consumption of specific foods if they became fortified. These foods included soft drinks, salty snacks, fruit drinks, and fruit juice. A large proportion of adults also indicated that they would serve more of these fortified foods to their children.
Our findings reveal that fortifying foods, particularly those of poor nutritional quality, could lead to increased consumption of these foods among children, teens, and adults. Potentially, this could have a negative impact on eating habits and, in turn, could exacerbate the current nutrition-related health issues that Canadians face.