The lives of young adults today are very different in comparison with the lifestyles from the past centuries. Not only have the aims, goals, and ambitions in life changed but the way of following those dreams has also changed. The majority of the people are working overtime and not giving enough time to themselves.
While this can have a positive effect on your career, following such a routine can take a toll on your health. Consequently, many have a poor diet full of processed foods and empty calories. This is also why people are not about to maintain their health or lose extra weight even if they exercise.
The so-called ‘Standard American Diet’ or western diets have been in the spotlight due to their connection with the rising levels of health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Previously, it was already known that high sugar and fat foods are harmful to health. Now, the researchers are looking at the entire picture of what can possibly cause damage to the health and its intensity. To continue the study on this subject, a number of French scientists looked at the effects of ultra-processed foods.
‘Ultraprocessed foods’ are the beverages that have undergone various industrial procedures and contain a number of ingredients. Some of the most widely consumed ultra-processed foods are processed meats, bread, microwavable meals, and sugary drinks. The findings of the study are published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Read the study here.
What Did the Research Show?
Prior to this study, it was already known that ultra-processed foods play a role in health complications such as obesity, hypertension, and cancer. These foods cause the aforementioned conditions mostly due to their high energy and fat content as well as low fiber content.
In addition, there are also a number of to other additives in ultra-processed foods that may link them to a range of health problems. For scientists, the most worrisome thing is that such foods form a large part of the common diets in the Western world. In fact, around 57.9% of the people in the US get their energy from ultra-processed foods.
Although the negative impacts of ultra-processed foods were known before, none of the studies had looked at their effects on general health.
How Was the Study Conducted?
To look at the effects of ultra-processed foods on the overall health, the researchers looked at data from French NutriNet-Santé Study. They followed around 44,551 individuals for at least 7 years. The participants were all 45 years and older.
Each one of these participants was asked to enter their data regarding their fitness, lifestyle, socio-economic background on a web-based form.
It was noted that the consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to lower income levels, higher BMI, lower levels of education, and living alone. However, even if some of these factors were changed, having ultra-processed foods was still seen to be connected to an increase in mortality levels.
Hence, a 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra-processed food in the diet led to a 14 percent increase in mortality risk. The conclude the study in the words:
“Findings from this prospective study of a large French cohort suggest for the first time, to our knowledge, that an increased proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet is associated with a higher risk of overall mortality.”