While eating ultra-processed foods have been known to be bad for health and for the inches, now we have even more reasons not to reach for them. According to Healthline, ultra-processed foods have ‘industrial formulations with five or more ingredients,’ and include soda, chips, and energy drinks.
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As per a report by The Guardian, a new study by US academics was published in the journal BMJ, which found a positive association between consumption of ultra-processed food and colorectal cancel or bowel cancer. This is also called colon cancer.
BMJalso published the findings from another study which showed a link between consuming ultra-processed food and excess mortality rate.
Following are the chief findings:
Association of ultra-processed food consumption with bowel cancer
The researchers in the first study went through data sets contains thousands of men and women, whose dietary intakes were assessed every 4 years using questionnaires, and found that not only are ultra-processed food without much nutrient value, they also pose a serious health risk.
The study states,
Beyond poor nutrition profiles, ultra-processed foods commonly contain food additives such as dietary emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners, some types of which have been suggested to increase the pro-inflammatory potential of the gut microbiome, promoting colon carcinogenesis.
Association of ultra-processed food intake with mortality
The second study measured the quantity and quality of food and beverages consumed over a 14-year period, taking into account underlying medical conditions.
Findings of the second study stated that adults with the lowest quality diet and the highest ultra-processed food consumption were at the highest risk for all cause and cardiovascular mortality. The people who ate the unhealthiest had a 19% higher risk of death from any cause compared to people with healthier diet. This number rises to 32% higher risk of death from heart disease.
The unhealthiness of the diet is explained by the high degree of inclusion of ultra-processed food in the diet. Though both studies have limitations, they nevertheless demonstrate the impact of a nutritionally poor diet with too much ultra-processed food, on long-term health outcomes.