And now, a new study from France suggests that ultraprocessed foods may increase the risk of early death. After adjusting for factors such as smoking, the researchers said that there is a 14 percent higher risk of early death for each 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed.
Ultra-processed foods tend to be high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.
"This is a large, carefully conducted prospective study of healthy middle-aged and older French people, in which a statistically significant association between death from any cause and a relatively higher consumption of "ultra-processed foods" has been identified", said Dr Ian Johnson, nutrition researcher and Emeritus Fellow at the Quadram Institute Bioscience.More news: Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry, United States News & Top Stories
Worrying? If you look at the statistics around our food consumption, it should be. Examples of ultraprocessed items include packaged snacks; ice cream; sweets; energy bars; processed meats; ready-made meals; and packaged cookies, cakes and pastries. They found that every 10 per cent increase in intake of "ultra-processed food" was linked to a 14 per cent increased risk of death within the next eight years. Researchers at Paris-Sorbonne University tracked the diets and subsequent mortality of almost 45,000 middle-aged French participants.
Over 600 people died during the course of the 7-year study.
On average, about 30 percent of the participants' daily calories came from foods that were ultraprocessed.More news: 'American Idol' Alum Antonella Barba Accused of Delivering Fentanyl
In fact, cancer and cardiovascular disease accounted for 253 of the 602 deaths among the 44,551 participants in the seven-year study. This percentage is actually fairly low compared to most western cultures: the diet of families in the United Kingdom reportedly consists of about 50% ultra-processed foods; this number rises to nearly 58% for Americans, according to a 2016 study.
In addition, it's possible that chemicals added to or produced during the manufacturing process may have harmful effects, the researchers said. And some compounds used in the packaging or storage of processed foods, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may interfere with the activity of hormones in the body.
A new study has laid bare the dangers of consuming "ultra-processed" food - a category that contains white bread, ready meals, sausages, sugary cereals, fizzy drinks, and crisps.More news: 'The Devil in the White City' Series Finally Moving Forward at Hulu