Eating ultraprocessed foods increases your risk of early death: study


Those chips you’ve been snacking on may actually be killing you.

There is a 14 percent risk of early death with every 10 percent increase in proportions of ultraprocessed foods consumed, according to a study published in the Jama Internal Medicine journal.

Ultraprocessed foods are processed through industrial methods and can contain additives. The study’s author, Dr. Laure Schnabel, a nutritional epidemiologist at Paris-Sorbonne University, says examples are “mass-produced and packaged snacks, sugary drinks, breads, confectioneries, ready-made meals and processed meats,” Yahoo News reported.

The study examined over 44,000 adults, 45 years or older, who all provided 24-hour dietary records every six months. Participants also completed health questionnaires that allowed researchers to calculate each person’s consumption of ultraprocessed foods, CNN reported.

Over 600 people died during the course of the 7-year study. More than 200 of the deaths were cancer-related while 34 were from cardiovascular disease, according to The Guardian. The study concludes that the deaths were more likely to occur to individuals who ate more ultraprocessed foods.

“These features [from ultraprocessed foods] have been associated with several non-communicable diseases that are the leading causes of mortality,” said Schnabel.

A 2016 study from BMJ Open showed that nearly 60 percent of calories consumed by Americans result from the consumption of ultraprocessed foods.

Some scientists argued that the study’s categorization of ultraprocessed foods was too wide and therefore not strong enough to come to a confident conclusion, according to The Guardian.

Dr. Nita Forouhi, at the University of Cambridge, told the Guardian that the study added to a “growing body of evidence on the health harms of ultra-processed foods.”