Study: Ultra-processed foods 'harmful to every part of the body' Study: Ultra-processed foods 'harmful to every part of the body'

Study: Ultra-processed foods 'harmful to every part of the body'

Study: Ultra-processed foods 'harmful to every part of the body'

A huge review has found that diets high in ultra-processed foods (UPF) may be harmful to every part of the body.

Eating a lot of ready meals, sugary cereals and processed white bread has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of 32 health problems including cancer, type 2 diabetes and mental health disorders.

An analysis of 14 articles published in the past three years, covering 10 million individuals, revealed that people who consume ultra-processed foods the most have an increased risk of dying from heart disease by between 40 and 66 percent. They were more likely to suffer from obesity, lung disease, and sleep problems.

Researchers at Deakin University in Australia found "convincing" evidence that high consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar, and low in vitamins and fibre, is associated with a 50% increased risk of death from a heart attack or stroke, and a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 12%, and the risk of anxiety increased by 48 to 53%.

There were indications that eating a lot of ultra-processed foods could increase the chances of dying from any health problem by a fifth, according to findings published in the British Medical Journal.

The research team explained that the evidence between UPF intake and asthma, digestive health, some types of cancer, and moderate cardiovascular risk factors, is still limited.

Ultra-processed foods include a range of ingredients that people do not normally use when cooking at home. 

Possible additives include: chemicals, colorings, sweeteners and preservatives that extend shelf life.

Food additives, such as non-nutritive sweeteners and modified starches, appear to affect the gut microbiome, levels of gut inflammation, and metabolic responses to food, which may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The academics from São Paulo, Brazil, said: “In general, the researchers found that diets high in ultra-processed foods may be harmful to most - and perhaps all - of the body's systems. There is no reason to believe that humans can fully adapt to these products. "The body may react to it as useless or harmful, so its systems may be weakened or damaged, depending on how affected they are and the amount of ultra-processed foods consumed."

“It is time for UN agencies, together with Member States, to develop and implement a framework agreement on ultra-processed foods similar to the framework on tobacco,” they added.

More research should be conducted to determine the different mechanisms of the effect of these foods on health.

Commenting on the results, Guenther Kunle, Professor of Nutrition at the University of Reading, said: “Many studies also show that people who consume a lot of ultra-processed foods also have an unhealthy lifestyle and are therefore more susceptible to disease. Although many studies "You're trying to adapt to this, but it's almost impossible to do it completely."

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