Eating High Ultra-processed Foods Linked With Earlier Deaths: Study


DLHA Staff reporter


WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2024 – Adding to what is already known, a new study has warned that people who eat more ultra-processed foods are more likely to die earlier, particularly from heart disease or diabetes but not cancer.


For clarity, examples of ultra-processed foods include soft drinks, energy drinks, candy, bread, potato chips, packaged baked goods, sugary breakfast cereals, sandwich meat slices and most ready-to-eat products.


Ultra-processed foods are mostly made from extracted whole foods, like saturated fats, starches, and added sugars. They are low in fibre and protein but high in calories and contain a wide variety of additives, colorants, stabilisers, and preservatives to make them tastier, attractive and have longer shelf life.


For the study, researchers including Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., M.P.H., based at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, US National Cancer Institute, examined data collected during the mid-1990s from more than 540,000 people ages 50 to 71 regarding their eating habits and their health. Majority of the participants have since died as at the time of the report


During an average 23-year follow up, researchers found that older adults who consume higher amounts of ultra-processed foods are about 10% more likely to die than those who eat less processed foods.


When the study adjusted for other health risk factors, researchers still found that people who consumed the highest levels of ultra-processed food were more likely to die early than people who ate the least.


So what lessons can be learnt from this and similar studies?


Although observational studies that look at past records like the current one cannot claim to show direct proof of cause and effect; when the study findings are taken together with other numerous evidence-based studies on the subject matter, it does confirm that a strong association exists between eating diets rich in ultra-processed foods and a high risk of dying early from heart diseases, stroke and diabetes.


On the other hand, diets rich in fruits, vegetables and minimally processed foods, support good heart and general health, plus longevity.


Note: Study findings presented at meeting of professional association are to be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.


Source: American Society for Nutrition, news release, June 30, 2024




Top 10 heart healthy African foods

African Foods That Promote Brain Health

African Foods That Are Rich in Vitamins

Best African Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure




Published: July 3, 2024

© 2024. Datelinehealth Africa Inc. All rights reserved.

Permission is given to copy, use and share content for non-commercial purposes without alteration or modification and subject to attribution as to source.




DATELINEHEALTH AFRICA INC., is a digital publisher for informational and educational purposes and does not offer personal medical care and advice. If you have a medical problem needing routine or emergency attention, call your doctor or local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or the nearest hospital. You should consult your professional healthcare provider before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness program mentioned or referenced in the DatelinehealthAfrica website. Click here for more disclaimer notice.

Untitled Document