Search icon


31st May 2019

‘Ultra’ processed food and modern life can lead to early death, study finds

Olivia Hayes

We all know it’s not the healthiest diet.

A modern life can sometimes be unhealthy. Depending on your lifestyle, you might be up at the crack of dawn and not arrive home until late at night. You might travel around the country and you’re constantly in your car. You might be caring for people and don’t have a minute to yourself.

Which, some days, can lead to you eating the easiest option.

And the easiest option is probably processed food, or ‘ultra’ processed food as these studies are calling it.

Two studies, published in the British Medical Journal, found that there is a link between foods which contain high levels of added fat and sugar and an increased risk in early death.

It saw that those eating four servings of ultra processed food a day have a 62 per cent increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack compared to those just having two servings.

The first study took place at the University of Paris and researchers gathered details on the diets and health of more than 105,000 people while the second study was carried out at the University of Navarra in Spain and monitored the health of nearly 20,000 people from 1999 to 2014.

Dr Mathilde Touvier, from the University of Paris, told BBC News: “The rapid and worldwide increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods, to the detriment of less processed foods, may drive a substantial burden of cardiovascular diseases in the next decades.”

“[The] evidence is accumulating. Increasing numbers of independent studies observe associations between ultra-processed foods and adverse health effects.”