Medicine

Cancer: Researchers say highly processed food may increase risk

Cancer: Researchers say highly processed food may increase risk

The results showed that a 10 percent increase in the amount of "ultra-processed foods" in the participants' diets was linked to a 12 percent increase in the risk of overall cancer - and an 11 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer.

Again, the BMJ editorial picked up on this, saying: "Given the relatively weak association between intake of ultra-processed foods and incidence of cancer, and the known difficulties in measuring some important risk factors for cancer such as physical activity, the possibility remains that residual confounding could explain the observed association between ultra-processed foods and cancer".

No significant link was found between cancer rates and high consumption of "less processed foods including canned vegetables, cheese and fresh bread", Sky News reports.

A diet rich in processed foods is apt to increase weight, and increased weight is a known risk factor for several types of cancer, said McCullough, who had no role in the study.

Sugary cereals are among highly processed foods including fizzy drinks, packaged baked goods, instant noodles, candy and ready-made meals found to raise one's odds of cancer. "Rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer and other non-communicable diseases", they write.

Plans are being drawn up to restrict price promotions on foods by the Scottish Government and a new poll by Cancer Research UK has also found 62 per cent of people back the move. They also suggested that policies targeting product reformulation, taxation, and marketing restrictions on ultra-processed products and promotion of fresh or minimally processed foods may contribute to primary cancer prevention.

More news: OR woman pulls more than a dozen small worms from her eye

Ultra-processed foods are those made through several levels of processing and include popular grocery store finds like soft drinks, frozen dinners and reconstituted meat. Packaged foods contain more sugar, fat, and salt than anything made in a home or restaurant kitchen, and also don't have almost as much stomach-filling fiber and important nutrients. Most food is processed to some degree, but ultra-processed foods are typically much more calorie-, sodium- and sugar-packed.

During the five years of study follow-up, about 2,200 people were diagnosed with cancer. There's another study in an already impressive pile that says you should be careful not to eat too much processed food.

For the study, Srour and his colleagues had almost 105,000 French men and women, average age 43, complete at least two online dietary questionnaires.

But she added: 'They all have food additives, they all have compounds formed during the processing and heating of the products, and they have compounds that could come from the packaging itself. Those foods included fruits, vegetables, rice and pasta, eggs, meat, fish and milk.

The researchers looked at the diets of almost 105,000 people who answered questions about their diet, weight, physical activity, drug use, smoking status, education and family history.


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