Eating Ultra-processed Foods Linked to Early Death in Middle-Aged Adults by Mei Marcie
With the rise in obesity and diabetes, there is increasing focus on their causes and what can be done to help lead a longer, healthier life. A French study set out to investigate the link between ultra-processed foods and all-cause mortality risk. This involved monitoring the diets of over 44,000 French adults aged 45 years and above.
Researchers found a 10 percent increase in the proportion of ultra-processed food consumption with a 14 percent higher risk of all-cause mortality. Ultra-processed foods are characterized as "ready-to-eat" or require heating at high temperatures and they contain additives, emulsifiers and texturizers.
Why is there a link between these foods and mortality risks? It could be due to these foods being high in salt or sugar or saturated fats, and low in fiber. The emulsifiers have also been linked in other studies to adversely affecting metabolism and obesity risks. Cooked at high heat, certain chemicals may result, which could have carcinogenic risks.
According to CNN, in the United States, 61 percent of an adult's total diet comes from ultra-processed foods, in Canada, it is 62 percent, and in the UK, that proportion is 63 percent, a recent study found.
While the study is not a direct proof of causation, it’s yet another study that indicates the risks of ultra-processed foods. It’s a warning that we should be really careful about our diet and make an effort to eat fresh and clean.