February 12, 2019 – A new study warns that eating ultra-processed foods could increase your risk of premature death.
"Ultra-processed foods are mainly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts or cooked or hot dishes," and their consumption "has increased dramatically in recent decades," wrote the study's authors in the JAMA newspaper. Internal Medicine, CNNreported.
The study involved more than 44,000 adults, aged 45 and over, in France, followed for two years.
The researchers found that each 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed food consumed was associated with a 14% higher risk of premature death, reported CNN.
Ultra-processed foods represent more than 14% of the weight total food consumed by participants and about 29% of their total calories.
According to the authors, further research is needed to confirm the results of the study, which suggested that additives, packaging (chemicals enter food during storage) and the treatment itself (including high temperature treatment) may be the reason why ultra-processed foods can be detrimental to health, CNN reported.
"The results make sense, given what we know so far about the deleterious effects of food additives on brain function and health, but the observed effects are minimal, "CNN Molly Bray, chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, told CNN.
She did not participate in the study.
According to Nurgul Fitzgerald, an associate professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University, there are many types of ultra-processed foods and the study could not determine exactly what could make them dangerous for your health. She did not participate in the study.
"Some factors may be more harmful or less damaging than others – it's really too complex," Fitzgerald told CNN, adding that we could not "run" with these results.
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