Consumption of soft drinks, cereals and other ultra-processed foods may increase the risk of cancer: study

Ultra-processed foods are usually relatively cheap, convenient, and heavily marketed

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

a major consumption of ultra-processed foods may be related to a increased risk of developing cancer and die for this cause, according to a recent investigation.

An observational study led by Imperial College London provided the most comprehensive assessment to date of the relationship between ultra-processed foods and the risk of cancer and found an association.

The study found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a higher risk of developing cancer in general, and specifically with ovarian and brain cancers. It was also associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer, especially ovarian and breast cancer.

For each 10% increase in ultra-processed foods in a person's diet, the cancer incidence increased by 2% in general and 19% in the specific case of ovarian cancer.

Each 10% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was also associated with a increased overall cancer mortality of 6%along with a 16% increase for breast cancer and a 30% increase for ovarian cancer.

These links continued after adjust for a number of socioeconomic factorsbehavioral, and dietary factors, such as smoking, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI).

“This study adds to the growing evidence that ultra-processed foods can negatively affect our health, including the risk of cancer. Given the high levels of consumption in adults and children in the UK, this has important implications for future health,” said Dr Eszter Vamos, lead author of the study, from the Imperial College London School of Public Health.

What are ultra-processed foods?

According to the research, ultra-processed foods are those that have been highly processed during their production, such as soft drinks, mass packaged breads, many convenience foods, and most cereals for breakfast.

ultra-processed foods They are usually relatively cheap, comfortable, and highly commercialized.I often like healthy options. But I also knowtend to be higher in salt, fat, and sugar, and contain artificial additives. It is well documented that they are linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

"It is possible that our body does not react in the same way to these ultra-processed ingredients and additives than fresh, nutritious, minimally processed foods. However, ultra-processed foods are everywhere and are marketed with cheap prices and attractive packaging to encourage their consumption. This demonstrates that our food environment needs urgent reform to protect the population from ultra-processed foods,” said Dr. Kiara Chang, first author of the study, from the Imperial College London School of Public Health.

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