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Ultra-processed foods have at least 32 negative health effects

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Ultra-processed foods have at least 32 negative health effects

The Harmful Effects of Ultra-Processed Foods: New Study Reveals Alarming Health Risks

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has shed light on the concerning health effects of ultra-processed foods. This study, which reviewed almost 10 million participants, found that a higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to 32 possible negative health effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular events, anxiety, mental disorders, and type 2 diabetes.

The study analyzed 14 meta-analyses from 45 studies conducted in the last three years. The evidence, categorized as convincing, highly suggestive, suggestive, weak, or absent, showed a clear association between ultra-processed foods and various health risks. For example, a higher intake of these foods was found to increase the risk of death related to cardiovascular diseases by approximately 50%, the risk of developing anxiety and mental disorders by 48-53%, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 12%.

In addition to these findings, the study revealed associations between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and diseases such as asthma, gastrointestinal diseases, certain types of cancer, and high blood fat concentrations. Despite limited evidence in some cases, the overall results emphasize the harmful impact of these processed products on health.

Ultra-processed foods, which include packaged snacks, sugary cereals, and ready-to-eat meals, are often high in added sugars, fat, and salt, while lacking essential nutrients like vitamins and fiber. These products can make up a significant portion of daily calorie intake, especially in high-income countries where their consumption is steadily increasing.

The researchers behind the study are now calling for public health actions to address the consumption of ultra-processed foods. They suggest that measures similar to those taken against tobacco should be implemented to regulate the production and consumption of these harmful products. With the growing prevalence of ultra-processed foods worldwide, it is crucial to raise awareness about the associated health risks and work towards reducing their consumption for the well-being of individuals and communities.

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