Tuesday , June 15 2021

Ultra-transformed foods increase the risk of mortality

It is still difficult to establish the causal link between ultra-processed food consumption and health. A major study published on Monday by French researchers shows that a 10% increase in the share of ultra-processed food in the diet will increase the mortality rate by 15%.

This study, involving tens of thousands of French citizens from 2009 to 2017, found a modest relationship between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of death during the period. The results are published in the journal of the American Medical Association Jama Domestic medicine,

"Do not worry the public and say that eating ready meals, you have an extra risk of 15% of death", moderately with AFP, Mathilde Touvier, director of the research team on nutritional epidemiology at the University of Paris 13. She manages the large study NutriNet-Health with researchers from three other institutions (Inserm, Inra and CNAM). "This is a new basis in research into the links between ultra-processed foods and health"she continues. The same French team published a survey last year organic foods and the risk of cancer, More cancers are seen in people who eat less bio, but again the methodology does not allow a conclusion to be drawn …

Ultra-straightened foods belong to category 4 of the classification New they have undergone several transformation processes such as high temperature heating and include additives, emulsifiers, textile products … Simple frozen dishes without additives are not part of it. However, most ultra-processed foods are ready-to-cook foods that are richer in salt or sugar and poor vitamins and fibers.

45,000 French women over 45, mostly women, took part in the new study. Every six months, they had to record in an online questionnaire everything they had eaten and drank for 24 hours. Seven years ago, about 600 people died. The researchers then analyzed the data and found that a 10% increase in the shareultra-processed foods in the diet corresponds to a 15% increase in mortality,

Foods containing additives

But Matilde Touvie warns that we should not focus on the figure, but the important thing is the existence of a statistically significant relationship. And research should be interpreted in a set of works. Last year, French researchers published results that were still extracted from the study NutriNet-Health, observing a larger number cancer among the major users of ultra-processed foods.

Since, for ethical reasons, we can not have an experiment where we will not eat Food that in one part of the population, but not in another, observation is the only solution.

But how do you explain that ultra-processed foods are harmful to your health? Among the hypotheses listed by the researchers: additives. Their effects are investigated in a laboratory, on cells and on rats, especially in an INRA laboratory.


An important contribution to literature

The survey is Monday "An Important Contribution to Literature"AFP Casey Rebholz told AFP. Professor of Epidemiology at the American University, John Hopkins, notes that the methodology is of good quality, despite the constraints inherent in research of this type. The data also show, insists Nita Forouhi, professor of nutritional epidemiology in Cambridge, that ultra-processed foods disproportionately consumed by people with low incomes or education, or living alone. "More needs to be done to counter this inequality"– she said.

What to remember

  • People who eat the most processed foods have a higher risk of death.
  • This connection does not necessarily mean a connection between reason and consequence.
  • Additives are tested in the lab to see if they are harmful to health.

Ultra-processed foods increase the risk of cancer

Member of Marie-Selin Ray published February 16, 2018

100,000 volunteers from group NutriNet-Health responded to food questionnaires. Eight-year follow-up shows that by increasing the share of ultra-processed foods in their diet by 10%, the risk of cancer also increases by at least 10%.

Over the last decades, Food Ultra-processed foods have accumulated space on our plates as they have several advantages: they are very safe at the microbiological level (despite pollution random …), convenient to use and cheap. Studies in Europe, North America and Brazil suggest that ultra-processed products account for between 25 and 50 percent of our energy intake.

Researchers from Inserm, INRA and the University of Paris-XIII conducted a study of participants in the NutriNet-Santé group. 104,980 participants, all adults, responded to food questionnaires that made it possible to know their consumption of ultra-processed foods. For example, apple puree with sugar is a processed product, but if the dessert contains flavored fruit, coloring, texturing agents, it is ultra-processed. Ultra-processed foods are also considered meats containing preservatives, vegetables, fried vegetables, soda, shreds, instant soups …

In the cohort, the percentage of ultra-processed foods in the diet is 18.7%. Among the 25% who eat the most processed foods, this share is on average 32%.

Additives, packaging and carcinogens in the menu

2228 cases of cancer were reported. A 10% increase in the consumption of ultra – processed foods resulted in a 12% increase in the risk of cancer and 11% of the risk of breast cancerUltra-processed foods contain a lot of fat, saturated fat, salt and low in fiber and vitamins. However, the results remain significant even with adaptation depending on the nutritional quality of the diet. This means that the poor nutritional quality of ultra-processed foods is not the only factor involved.

How do you explain the increase in cancer risk? Several elements have to be taken into account. Ultra-processed foods contain molecules potentially carcinogenic cooked during cooking, such asacrylamideheterocyclic amines and aromatic hydrocarbons polycyclic. Sometimes there are additives, though undoubtedly controversial, such as nitrite sodium (E250), a preservative for meat delicacies, or titanium, a paint white, whose carcinogenic effects have been discussed. Finally, packaging that comes into contact with food can also be at risk (bisphenol A…).

The study highlights an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship that remains to be proven. Researchers are considering a Press release of Inserm to continue with the food additives in the cohort of NutriNet-Santé. These results appear in the log BMJ,

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