Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Consuming ultra-processed foods could increase cancer risk

Consuming ultra-processed foods could increase cancer risk Consuming ultra-processed foods could increase cancer risk
Samantha Long | 16 February, 2018, 04:03

They grouped foods according to how processed or unprocessed they were and compared the results to cases of cancer over an average of 5 years.

The specialists found that a 10% expansion in consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to a 12% ascent in cancers.

"A few studies have previously suggested that ultra-processed foods contribute to increasing the risk of cardiometabolic disorders - such as obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia - but no previous perspective epidemiological study has evaluated the association between food processing and (the risk of) cancer", they write.

That is on the grounds that an European study of what are called ultra-processed foods - fundamentally, stuff made in manufacturing plants with fixings not generally found in home kitchens - has discovered they might be linked to cancer. "Several characteristics of ultra-processed foods may be involved in causing disease, particularly cancer". Essentially, this study has found a correlation, but there's nothing to suggest that the processed foods themselves are causing the cancer.

In light of past research indicating that lifestyle changes could prevent cancer, a group of French researchers took a closer look at whether and how diet increases the risk. "Now we need to connect the dots and find out if any specific elements in these foods may increase the risk of developing cancer".

Ultra-processed foods make up between 25 to 50 percent of the average person's diet in several developed countries, the study said.

White House proposes food box deliveries instead of food stamps
The reality of the Harvest Box is dystopian delivery compared to a meal kit, which has become a marker of middle-class luxury. The program began under the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, which the Nixon administration authorized.

But what about ultra-processed foods?

Eating and drinking more of these products is linked to an increased risk of cancer, according to a new study by a team of French doctors that is sure to elicit controversy.

For their study, the researchers analyzed data from people who completed questionnaires about the foods that they consumed over 24 hours on at least two occasions.

Eluned Hughes, head of public health and information at Breast Cancer Now, says: "It is hard to distinguish the specific effects of ultra-processed foods - or any particular food group - from those of other diet and lifestyle factors". "The challenge now is to disentangle the different foods and understand this relationship to see what specifically is having this effect". In this study, researchers defined them as "mass produced packaged breads and buns; sweet or savosamry packaged snacks; industrialised confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; meatballs, poultry and fish nuggets, and other reconstituted meat products".

Women in the top quarter were 38 per cent more likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

The researchers warned that the results would have to be confirmed by further large-scale studies in different populations and settings. "We are a long way from understanding the full implications of food processing for health and wellbeing", they added.

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