Ultra-processed foods may increase chances of ovarian and brain cancers | The Financial Express

Ultra-processed foods may increase chances of ovarian and brain cancers

They also found that it can also increase the chances of dying from cancer especially in case of ovarian and breast cancers.

Cancer, Ovarian cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, processed foods, junk food, health news,
These products are mostly made from substances extracted from foods such as fats, starches, added sugar, and hydrogenated fats. (Image Credits: Pixabay)

A team of researchers from the Imperial College of London has found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods may be linked with an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer.

Ultra-processed foods are food and drink products that have undergone some special type of food processing. The process is usually used by transnational and other very large ‘Big Food’ corporations. These products are mostly made from substances extracted from foods such as fats, starches, added sugar, and hydrogenated fats. Some examples of ultra-processed foods include fizzy drinks, mass-produced packaged breads, many ready meals and most breakfast cereals.

The researchers from Imperial’s School of Public Health, have produced the most comprehensive assessment to date of the association between ultra-processed foods and the risk of developing cancers.

According to the scientists, although these food products are often relatively cheap, convenient, and heavily marketed, often as healthy options. But these foods are also generally higher in salt, fat, sugar, and contain artificial additives. The scientists emphasised that it is already proven that they are linked with a range of poor health outcomes including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

During the study, the scientists used UK Biobank records to collect information on the diets of 200,000 middle-aged adult participants. Researchers monitored participants’ health over a 10-year period, looking at the risk of developing any cancer overall as well as the specific risk of developing 34 types of cancer. They also looked at the risk of people dying from cancer.

The scientists found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a greater risk of developing cancer overall, and specifically with ovarian and brain cancers.

They also found that it can also increase the chances of dying from cancer especially incase of ovarian and breast cancers.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation has previously recommended restricting ultra-processed foods as part of a healthy sustainable diet.

The findings of the study were recently published in eClinicalMedicine, in collaboration with researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), University of São Paulo, and NOVA University Lisbon.

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First published on: 08-02-2023 at 12:12 IST