Ultra-processed foods and drinks linked to colorectal cancer and early death

Ultra-processed foods and drinks linked to colorectal cancer and early death

Two large studies that followed participants for decades provided additional evidence that the foods we eat – and don’t eat – can have significant health consequences. Research published on August 31 in BMJIt found that people who ate more “ultra-processed” foods were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, bowel (colorectal) cancer and early death.

What are ultra-processed foods? They include items like hot dogs, luncheon meats, baked goods, salty snacks like chips, and sugary drinks, along with ready-to-eat meals or prepackaged microwave meals, which can contain more unhealthy fats and lots of sodium.

According to the researchers, these findings add further support for policies that limit ultra-processed foods and promote unprocessed or minimally processed foods to improve overall health worldwide.

Researchers have followed participants for more than two decades to assess their cancer risk

In the The first studyResearchers examined the relationship between consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of colorectal cancer in US adults using data from 46,341 men and 159,907 women who participated in one of three large studies of American health professionals: the Nurses Health Study (1986-2014), and the Nurses Health Study. The second (1991-2015), the Health Occupational Follow-up Study (1986-2014).

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