Eating ultra-processed foods linked to cancer in the study


  • A study found that people who ate a lot of ultra-processed foods had a higher risk of developing cancer.
  • Each 10% increase in ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a 2% increased risk of cancer.
  • Ultra-processed foods include packaged snacks, reconstituted meat products, and ready meals.

A study showed that people who eat large amounts of ultra-processed foods have a higher risk of developing cancer.

The study spanned 10 years and looked at nearly 200,000 participants in the UK with an average age of 58. The researchers compared the amount of UPF they consumed with whether they developed 34 types of cancer.

In the study, UPFs included products such as soft drinks, bulk processed industrial bread, sweet or savory packaged snacks, breakfast cereals, reconstituted meat products, and ready meals.

According to the British Heart Foundation charity, Ultra-processed foods “They typically contain five or more ingredients and contain artificial substances such as preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors.”

This is the latest study to find a link between eating UPFswhich make up a large part of people’s diets in countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, and increase their risk of developing some diseases.

follows a US-based study Last year it was found that men who consumed the highest levels of UPFs were 29% more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

Researchers in the UK study concluded that middle-aged adults who took in a lot of UPFs were more likely to have UPFs cancer In general, as well as certain types of disease, such as brain cancer and ovarian cancer.

The researchers explained that every 10% increase in ultra-processed foods in the participants’ diet was associated with a 2% increased risk of cancer, rising to 19% for ovarian cancer.

The more UPFs a person ate, the more UPFs they ate. Each 10% increase was associated with a 6% increased risk of death, rising to 16% for breast cancer, and 30% for ovarian.

Dr. Kiara Chang, author of the study published in the journal Electronic medicineHe said in a press release: “The average person in the UK consumes more than half of their daily energy intake from ultra-processed foods.”

Ultra-processed foods It is ubiquitous and highly marketed with cheap prices and attractive packaging to enhance consumption. This shows that our food environment needs urgent reform to protect the population from ultra-processed foods.”

One expert said more research is needed into UPFs and cancer

There are many statistically significant differences between those who eat the most and have the least UPFs, including whether they smoke or are obese. or practiced, which made it “near statistically impossible” to account for them in the study.

This type of study, he said, “could be useful for selecting some new risk factors for further investigation. However, the definition of ultra-processed foods is so vague that establishing any cause-and-effect relationship is problematic.”

Dr Simon Stenson, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition charity who was also not involved in the study, said: “It is possible that high UPFs in the diet are a sign of a poor diet in general.”

Poor diets are often higher in energy, Saturated fatSalt and free sugars, low in fruit, vegetables, fiber and essential nutrients – dietary factors known to have a negative impact on health.”

He continued, “One of the issues with the concept of UPFs is that this category can also contain commonly consumed foods that provide important nutrients, such as packaged wholemeal breads that contain fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, or breakfast cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar.”

These types of foods “can make up an important part of a A healthy and balanced diet They provide affordable and widely available options that can form the basis of nutritious meals.”

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