TopicsHealth & WellbeingResearch digest: ultra-processed foods and premature deaths

Research digest: ultra-processed foods and premature deaths


The consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) containing little or no whole foods in their ingredients contributed to 57,000 premature deaths in Brazil in 2019, a study reports.

The research reveals that increased consumption of UPFs, such as ready-to-eat meals, sodas and ice cream, was associated with 10.5% of all premature deaths and 21.8% of all deaths from preventable noncommunicable diseases in adults aged 30 to 69 in Brazil in 2019.

The research modelled data from nationally representative dietary surveys to estimate baseline intakes of UPFs by sex and age group. Across all groups, consumption of UPFs ranged from 13% to 21% of total food during the period studied. A total of 541,260 adults aged 30 to 69 died prematurely in 2019; of these 261,061 deaths were from preventable noncommunicable diseases.

The findings suggest that reducing consumption of UPFs by 10% to 50% could potentially prevent approximately 5900 to 29,300 premature deaths in Brazil each year.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Image Credit | Shutterstock


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