Ultra-processed food intake increase mortality risk by 28%


eMediNexus    23 February 2023

Results of a large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that intake of more ultra-processed foods (UPFs) is associated to a higher mortality risk and serious cardiovascular problems.


The study is a part of the continuing Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. PURE is a sizable observational cohort in all continents (apart from Australia) that tracks participants′ routine food intake and categorizes their use of UPFs. 


It showed that consuming more than two servings of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) daily, such as chocolate, deep fried snacks, soft drinks and breakfast cereals with high sugar content, may raise mortality risk by up to 28%. Further, people in low- and middle-income countries are at a larger risk than people in high-income countries.


Data from 1,38,076 participants between the ages of 35 and 70 and were free of cardiovascular illnesses at the start of the trial were included in the study. The participants were monitored for an average of 10.2 years while residing in 21 nations across five continents (except Australia).


According to the study, several theories could explain why eating highly processed foods are associated with adverse health effects. 


The researchers stated that consuming more UPFs increases exposure to Trans fats, artificial flavors and colors, and other environmental pollutants. In addition, substances like acrylamide, formed during the thermal processing of high-carbohydrate foods, may be neurotoxic and carcinogenic.


They emphasized that consuming UPF could be concerning in low- and middle-income countries, where 80% of the burden of cardiovascular disease is concentrated. Hence, intake should be limited to prevent the mortality risk in these areas.


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/like-chips-sodas-big-portions-may-spike-mortality-risk-by-28-says-study-spanning-5-continents/1388399/)

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