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Eating ultra-processed foods increases the risk of early death, says a study



"Ultraprocessed foods are manufactured industrially from a number of ingredients that usually contain additives that are used for technological and / or cosmetic purposes," wrote the authors of the study, which was published on Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "Ultra-processed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts or ready-to-eat or heated foods, and their consumption has skyrocketed in recent decades."

This trend could lead to an increase in early deaths from chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In the United States, 61% of an adult's total diet is from ultra-processed foods, while in Canada it is 63% in the UK, a recent study found. However, research also shows that the consumption of ultra-processed foods can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cancer, say the authors of the study.

To understand the relationship between ultra-processed foods and the risk of death expected earlier than expected, the researchers asked 44,551

French adults over the age of 45 for two years. Their average age was 57 years and almost 73% of the participants were women. Every six months, they provided food records 24 hours a day, as well as questionnaires on their state of health (including body mass index and other measurements), physical activity and socio-demographics.

The researchers calculated the total food intake and consumption of each participant's ultra-processed food

Ultra-processed foods accounted for more than 14% of the total weight of food and about 29% of total calories. Consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with younger age, lower income, lower educational attainment, lone lives, higher BMI, and lower physical activity levels.

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Im Study period, 602 participants died. Adjusted for factors such as smoking, researchers calculated a 14% higher risk of early death for any increase in the portion of ultra-processed food consumed.

Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings, the authors said. However, they speculate that the additives, the packaging (chemicals entering the food during storage) and the processing itself, including processing at high temperatures, can be the factors that can negatively impact health.

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The "results" are meaningful given the hitherto known harmful effects of food additives on brain function and health. However, the observed effects are very small, "wrote Molly Bray, chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, in an email that did not participate in the research.

Nurgul Fitzgerald, associate professor in the department Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, offered the authors "kudos" for a study that is "strong" in their design.

However, "ultraprocessed" is a huge category of food In many cases, researchers lost sensitivity in their findings and can not pinpoint exactly what is causing the effect observed in the study, said Fitzgerald involved in the research.

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"Some Factors That can be really more harmful or less harmful than others. It's really too complex, "she said, adding that we can not" run along "with these results.

Why do people eat more of these processed foods?

" We're living in a fast-paced world and the People are looking for convenient solutions, we are always on time, "said Fitzgerald. "People are looking for quick fixes, a quick meal."

Taste is the most important factor for most consumers in their food choices, she said, but price and convenience are also important, and for ultra-processed foods, this convenience factor is "probably at the top of the list" ready, done. " Eat."

Fitzgerald recommends that people not only look at the front of a package when shopping for convenience foods, but also at the back.

"Look at the list of ingredients Do you understand all the ingredients that go into your food?" She asked. Buy only those products "with the least number of ingredients and with ingredients that you understand."


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