According to a recent study, the processed ready-to-eat foods such as frozen pizzas, snacks, beans, and canned tuna are hazardous for health and even reduce consumers lifespan.
Brazilian scientists have noted that the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) is closely connected to pre-mature death and it causes chronic and terminal illnesses. A healthy died, nonetheless, prevents all these illnesses
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study which observed that over 10% of premature deaths are the outcome of the consumption of ultra-processed foods.
The ready-to-eat-or-heat products, study says, are made of ingredients extracted from foods or made in labs. Prepackaged foods also include soups, sauces, candies, sodas, and doughnuts.
The study also pointed out that people in the higher-income and developed countries consume more of the UFPs.
“Previous modelling studies have estimated the health and economic burden of critical ingredients, such as sodium, sugar and trans fats, and specific foods or drinks, such as sugar-sweetened beverages,” said Eduardo AF Nilson, who supervised the study.
Nilson is working with the Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health, University of São Paulo, and Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil.
Nilson claimed that in the past, no study calculated how these foods cause premature deaths.
“Knowing the deaths attributable to the consumption of these foods and modelling how changes in dietary patterns can support more effective food policies might prevent disease and premature deaths.”
The authors collected data from nationally representative dietary surveys. They estimated the intakes according to age and gender. Through statistical analyses, researchers found that 13%-21% of all food consumption in Brazil was via UPFs in 2019.
In the same year, 541,260 adults aged between 30 and 69 years old died an early death. Out of this, 261,061 premature deaths were preventable and non-communicable diseases. Researchers believe that nearly 57,000 deaths were attributed to UPFs.
Authors theorised that high-earning countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada could be at higher risk with their high caloric intake.
Researchers added that a reduction in UPF consumption by 10% to 50% could save as many as 5,900 to 29,300 lives.