New research published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, has found evidence that consuming ultra-processed foods could increase the risk of early death.
Ultra-processed foods are those derived by baking, frying, extruding, hydrogenation and usually include a large number of additives with little or no whole food.
“Ultra-processed foods are mostly consumed in form of snacks, dessert or ready-to-eat meals and their consumption has largely increased during the past several decades,” said the lead author of the study.
They “are manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes”.
Researchers from the University of Paris studied 44,000 adults aged 45 years and older for two years.
With over 602 participants dying over the study period, the researchers found that each 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods consumed was associated with a 14% higher risk of early death.
Scientists retained the findings even after taking into account other factors that could affect a person’s risk of death, such as income and education level, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, smoking habits, total calorie intake, alcohol consumption, and a family history of cancer or heart disease.
Ultra-processed foods are known to have high levels of sodium and sugar and low fibre levels.