Look at your supermarket cereal. Is it an ultra-processed food (UPF)? How about Hovis’ whole grain toast? Or maybe your morning coffee with long-life almond milk? I don’t think this is the worst breakfast, but in any case you may have his UPF in your system.
UPF is associated with an increase in serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes, but what UPF is is generally not well understood. Processed foods include canned fish, smoked meats, and salted peanuts. UPFs are often made from already refined ingredients such as vegetable oils, flour, whey protein and sugar. These ingredients are combined with additives such as emulsifiers, flavorings and colorings to create something appetizing. These materials are often not available in regular stores. Do you have butylated hydroxyanisole antioxidant food preservatives in your cupboard?
UPF is more than just “junk food” like hot dogs and Pringles tubes. These are also low-fat margarines and vitamin-fortified cereals, foods that have been advocated for years as healthier alternatives, and rightly in many ways.
Looking for UPF in a typical cupboard is like finding an ant nest. First you find an ant colony, then another ant colony, and then you find ants everywhere. A 2019 study found that 57% of calories consumed in the UK are UPF, and the figure is higher among children. A 2022 study found that 72% of foods in the United States are dominated by UPF.
it’s been happening for a while. Consider the evolution of Spain’s national diet from 1990, when only 1 in 10 calories was provided by the UPF, to 2010, when it was nearly a third. In Brazil, people consuming more UPF consumed more saturated and trans fat and less fiber. It turns out that more UPF means less potassium, magnesium and vitamin C and more sugar in the US.
UPF tends to be higher in calories, lower in nutritional value, and lower in cost than processed or raw ingredients. As a result, the poor are eating more UPF, and the UPF’s impact has become a class issue.
Only in recent years has the effort to understand the impact of this dietary hijacking accelerated.
A recent astonishing non-fiction bestseller is Dr. Chris Van Tureken’s book, Ultra-Processed People, with the subtitle, “Why Do We Eat Things That Are Not Food… And Why Can’t We Stop?” . Public concern is reflected in this weekend’s No. 1 spot on the Nielsen hardcover sales chart.
“This is an emergency,” Mr Van Talleken said. “We need to think of big food companies the same way we think of tobacco companies.”
Van Tulleken said UPV is strongly associated with “inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, depression and anxiety, obesity and premature death.” I think I need guidance.
Henry Dimbleby, founder of restaurant chain Leon, has written the government’s food strategy stating that UPF consumption in the UK will be nearly four times higher than Italy’s in 2021, and is the number one cause of making us sick. believe that is food.
“We’re stuck in the junk food cycle,” he said. “Unless we break this down, we as a society are really going to be in trouble.”
The UK government’s Scientific Advisory Board on Nutrition said last month that “an association was observed between increased food intake”. [ultra-] Concerns about processed foods and their adverse health effects. But he urged caution when weighing the evidence so far.
We called for further research on the association between UPF and health outcomes. Campaigning charity Soil Association said the response was too weak and emphasized its members’ links to the food industry. Like France, it is calling on ministers to set targets to reduce consumption of ultra-processed foods.