Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Linked To Cancer

Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Linked To Cancer

To some degree this is on the grounds that processed foods are additionally connected with weight, which has been linked to cancer dangers, Linda Bauld, of Cancer Research UK, told the BBC.

Highly processed food such as chicken nuggets, packaged snacks and sodas may increase the risk of cancer, according to a new study. Incidences of cancer were identified from participants' and the declarations were validated by medical records and national databases over an average of five years.

Martin Lajous, M.D., an epidemiologist with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who wrote an editorial accompanying the study, says it's important for researchers to determine which additives or food categories specifically could be increasing cancer risk.

A lot of caution is being expressed about the study, but experts said a healthy diet is best.

Policies targeting product reformulation, taxation and marketing restrictions on ultra-processed products and promotion of fresh or minimally processed foods may contribute to primary cancer prevention, the researchers suggested.

This study was also only looking for a correlation, not a causation, so the researchers did not explicitly find that certain foods cause cancer.

Food and drink suppliers have acknowledged that "more needs to be done" in tackling obesity and diet-related illnesses, but insist processed products "should not be demonised".

Ultra-processed foods are not known for their health qualities. They also included instant noodles and frozen ready meals in the list.

No significant associations were found for prostate or colorectal cancer. A 2017 study found that they make up 50% of the Canadian diet, and they make up more than 50% of the United Kingdom diet.

In addition, the study found no significant links between less processed foods (like canned vegetables, cheeses and freshly made unpackaged bread) and cancer risk; however, consuming fresh or minimally processed foods (rice, fruits, pulses, vegetables, meat, pasta, eggs, fish and milk) was linked to lower risks of overall cancer and breast cancer.

But she added: 'They all have food additives, they all have compounds formed during the processing and heating of the products, and they have compounds that could come from the packaging itself. "They were really strongly associated, and we did many sensitive analysis and adjusted the findings for many co-factors, and still, the results here were quite concerning", study co-author Mathilde Touvier said.

The study, which appeared this week in the BMJ, suggests that foods like sweets that turn your tongue green and instant soups that are loaded with chemicals are cancer-causing. Other possibilities include potentially cancer-causing compounds, such as acrylamide, which are produced during the industrial preparation process, she adds.

Although they noted that the people who had the highest ultra-processed food intake were also more likely to be smokers, had lower levels of education, were less physically active, and consumed more calories.

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