A new study has found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer. Ultra-processed foods are heavily processed during their production, such as fizzy drinks, mass-produced packaged bread, ready meals and breakfast cereals. The study, conducted by Imperial College London and colleagues, used records from UK Biobank to collect information on the diets of 200,000 middle-aged adult participants. The 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. The study 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. Furthermore, it was associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer, most notably with ovarian and breast cancers. Although the study cannot prove causation, other evidence shows that reducing ultra-processed foods in the diet could provide important health benefits.
Today: November 30, 2023