Eating large amounts of "ultra-processed" foods may increase a person's risk of developing cancer, a new study suggests. With rising medical expertise and advanced medical researchers, newer causes and risks of cancer have come to light. It could, for instance, be linked to nutritional composition, food additives or contact with packaging materials.
Their responses were compared against the incidence of cancer diagnosed within the group.
The popularity of ultra-processed foods has soared in recent decades because they are highly palatable, cheap and widely available. The records taken into account registered the intake of 3,300 different food items including ultra-processed foods like cakes, chicken nuggets, fizzy drinks, bread, processed meat and confectionery.
Also on the list: instant soups, frozen or ready-to-eat meals, commercially made desserts and products processed with preservatives other than salt - for example, nitrites.
"Eating a balanced diet, avoiding junk food and maintaining a healthy weight are things we can all do to help stack the odds in our favor", she added. He is a faculty researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. Essentially, this study has found a correlation, but there's nothing to suggest that the processed foods themselves are causing the cancer.
But experts have said the results should be greeted with caution.
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.
The findings are based on 104,980 healthy French adults (22 per cent men; 78 per cent women) with an average age of 43 years who completed online dietary questionnaires, created to measure intake of 3,300 different food items.
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.
The specialists found that a 10% expansion in consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to a 12% ascent in cancers. But given the fact that the research controlled for factors like family history, age, sex, prescription birth control (in the case of breast cancer), body mass index, and education, it's hard to imagine what other factors might explain the bump in cancer rates among packaged-food eaters.
Overall cancer risk according to quarters of proportion of ultra-processed food in diet. Those foods included fruits, vegetables, rice and pasta, eggs, meat, fish and milk.
The researchers warned that the results would have to be confirmed by further large-scale studies in different populations and settings. For instance, they make you fatter, and being fatter makes you more likely to suffer from cancer.