Studies have found that ultra-processed foods are linked to cancer and early death

Studies have found that ultra-processed foods are linked to cancer and early death

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Eating a lot of ultra-processed foods significantly increases men’s risk of colorectal cancer and can lead to heart disease and premature death in both men and women, two new large-scale studies of people in the United States and Italy published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal reported. The BMJ magazine.

Ultra-processed foods include prepackaged soups and sauces, frozen pizzas, takeaways, and fun foods like sausages, sausages, french fries, soft drinks, store-bought cookies, cakes, pastries, donuts, ice cream, and many more.

said Marion Nestle, professor emeritus of nutrition studies, food and public health at New York University and author of several books on food policy and marketing, including “Soda Politics: Dealing with Big Soft Drinks (and Winning)” in 2015.

“These two studies complement the consistency: Ultra-processed foods are unequivocally associated with an increased risk of chronic disease,” said Nestle, who was not involved in either study.

The Study based in the United States examined the diets of more than 200,000 men and women for up to 28 years and found a link between ultra-processed foods and colorectal cancer – The third most diagnosed type of cancer in the United States In men, not women.

Processed and highly processed meats, such as ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs, beef, and beef, have long been linked to a higher risk of bowel cancer in men and women, according to the World Health OrganizationAnd the American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

However, the new study found that all types of ultra-processed foods played a role to some extent.

“We found that men in the highest quintile of ultra-processed food consumption, compared to those in the lowest quintile, had a 29% higher risk of developing colorectal cancer,” said co-senior author Fang Fang Zhang, cancer epidemiologist and chair of the department. in Nutrition Epidemiology and Data Science at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

This association remained even after the researchers took into account body mass index or diet quality.

Why didn’t the new study find the same risk of colorectal cancer in women?

“The reasons for this sex difference are still unknown, but it may include the different roles that obesity, sex hormones, and metabolic hormones play in men versus women,” Zhang said.

“Instead, women may have chosen ‘healthy’ ultra-processed foods,” said Dr. Robin Mendelson, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who was not involved in the study.

The study found that a “higher consumption of ultra-processed dairy products – such as yogurt – is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in women,” Zhang said. “Some ultra-processed foods are healthier, such as foods made with whole grains with little or no added sugars, and yogurt and dairy foods.”

She added that women are more likely to develop colorectal cancer if they eat ready-to-eat or heated dishes such as pizza. However, men had a higher risk of developing bowel cancer if they ate a lot of ready-to-eat meat, poultry or seafood and sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Americans consume a large proportion of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods – 58% in adults and 67% in children,” she added. “We should consider replacing ultra-processed foods with unprocessed or minimally processed foods in our diet to prevent cancer and prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease.”

The second study He followed more than 22,000 people for twelve years in the Molise region of Italy. The study, which began in March 2005, was designed to assess risk factors for cancer as well Heart and brain disease.

Analytics Posted in BMJ Comparing the role of foods lacking nutrients—such as foods high in sugar and saturated or trans fats—versus ultra-processed foods in the development of chronic disease and early death. Researchers have found that both types of foods independently increase the risk of premature death, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

However, when the researchers compared the two types of food to see which contributed more, they discovered that ultra-processed foods were “of paramount importance in determining mortality risk,” said first author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist in the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention. At IRCCS Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed in Boselli, Italy.

In a statement, Bonaccio said more than 80% of the foods that the study guidelines classified as nutritionally unhealthy were ultra-processed.

“This suggests that the increased risk of death is not directly (or exclusively) due to the poor nutritional quality of some products, but rather to the fact that these foods are often ultra-processed,” Bonaccio added.

Why are ultra-processed foods so bad for us? For example, they are “synthetic ready-to-eat or heat-up formulations made with ingredients extracted from foods or made in labs, with little or no whole foods,” Zhang told CNN.

These overly processed foods are often high in added sugars and salt, low in dietary fiber, and full of chemical additives, such as artificial colors, flavors, or stabilizers.

“While some ultra-processed foods may be considered healthier than others, in general, we recommend staying away completely from ultra-processed foods and focusing on healthy, unprocessed foods — fruits, vegetables, and legumes,” Mendelson said.

In 2019, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published results of a controlled clinical trial comparing a processed and unprocessed diet. Researchers found that those who followed an ultra-processed diet ate at a faster rate — and ate 500 more calories per day than people who ate unprocessed foods.

On average, participants gained 0.9 kilograms or 2 pounds while on the ultra-processed diet and lost an equivalent amount on the unprocessed diet. The National Institutes of Health noted.

“There is clearly something about ultra-processed foods that causes people to eat more of them without necessarily wanting or realizing.” Nestle said.

The effects of ultra-processed foods are quite straightforward. And Nestlé added that the causes of the effects are not yet known. “It would be good to know why, but until we find out, it’s best to advise eating ultra-processed foods in as small amounts as possible.”

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