Ultraprocessed foods may increase death risk

According to one large new study, eating more ultraprocessed foods — such as sugary drinks and ready-made meals — increases the risk of all-cause mortality.

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Ultraprocessed foods are the new and dangerous norm.

There has never been a closer eye watching the average diet of people in the United States than there is today.

Rising obesity and diabetes rates have spurred furious research into the exact role of the “Western diet.”

We already know that high levels of sugar and fat can have a detrimental impact on various systems of the body.

However, the full scale of the damage is only coming into focus now.

As part of this new push to examine the impacts of diet on health and longevity, a group of French scientists focused on ultraprocessed foods.

The term “ultraprocessed” refers to food products that manufacturers have put through industrial processes and contain a range of ingredients. Some examples include sugary drinks, breads, ready-made meals, confectionaries, and processed meats.

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Such products tend to be cheap to produce and affordable for consumers; and, according to some research, ultraprocessed foods “dominate the food supplies of high-income countries.”

In fact, ultraprocessed foods account for around 57.9 percent of the energy intake for the U.S.

Although scientists had previously linked ultraprocessed foods to many health conditions, until now, none had examined their impact on overall mortality.

A new study, which now appears in JAMA Internal Medicine, set out to fill this gap.

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