Game-Day Processed Foods

Next weekend, millions of Americans are going to squeeze into their football jerseys and plop on the couch to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

The U.S. tradition usually involves copious amounts of Bud Light, chicken wings, and long heroes overflowing with bright processed meats and sauces. Many of these people will remain in a blissful state of ignorance and have no idea that they could be killing themselves with each bite.

A new study from the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health found that each bite of these foods can increase your risk of developing cancer and other serious diseases. 

The study noted that the average person in the U.K. consumes more than half of their daily energy intake from “ultra-processed foods.”

“Our bodies may not react the same way to these ultra-processed ingredients and additives as they do to fresh and nutritious minimally processed foods,” Dr. Kiara Chang, the study’s lead author, said. “However, ultra-processed foods are everywhere and highly marketed with cheap prices and attractive packaging to promote consumption. This shows our food environment needs urgent reform to protect the population from ultra-processed foods.”

The study focused on 200,000 middle-aged adults in the U.K. and monitored their health over 10 years. The study said the higher the consumption of ultra-processed foods, the greater the connection to ovarian and brain cancers. Eating a lot of the ultra-processed food also leads to a higher mortality rate if diagnosed with cancer, the report said.

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on these studies because they are inconvenient for mainstream news outlets that rely on advertisements from Frito-Lay, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola. (See “EAT ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS AND LOSE YOUR MIND” 13 Dec 2022 and “ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS= ULTRA-MENTAL ILLNESS” 20 Sep 2022.)

The recent study found that for every 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed food, results in a two percent greater risk to develop cancer. 

Chang said clear packaging about the risks of these products could be helpful, but she is incorrect. 

Americans will continue to eat the garbage because most people are in constant search for a quick fix. Look no further than the Snickers bar slogan: “Hungry, Why Wait?” 

What Are ‘Ultra-Processed’ Foods?

Chang noted that these foods are produced with “industrially derived ingredients and often use food additives to adjust color, flavor, consistency, texture, or extend shelf life.”

The NOVA classification system categorizes foods relating to the industrial processes they undergo during production. Public Health Nutrition, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, said the process of manufacturing these foods is designed to “create highly profitable (low-cost ingredients, long shelf-life, emphatic branding), convenient (ready-to-consume), hyper-palatable products.”

These products contain ingredients “rarely used in kitchens,” the report said. They include high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or interesterified oils, and hydrolysed proteins, “or classes of additives designed to make the final product palatable or more appealing (such as flavors, flavor enhancers, colors, emulsifiers, emulsifying salts, sweeteners, thickeners, and anti-foaming, bulking, carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents).”

NOVA’s list of ultra-processed foods include: soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit nectar drinks, alcoholic beverages, distilled beverages, beer, refined cereal, breads, ready-to-eat meals, instant cereals, cookies, candy, sugary drinks, margarine, mayonnaise, chips, instant soups, confectionery, jams, chocolate, ice cream, cake, energy bars, dairy drinks, yogurts, processed cheese, pizza, pasta dishes, instant sauces, processed meat products, meat analogs, infant formulas, weight loss products such as meal replacement shakes and powders.

The World Health Organization has identified processed meats like bacon, ham, and sausage as Group 1 carcinogenic.

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