Ready meals link to greater risk of dying

039;It's another step in our understanding of the link between ultra-processed food and health.'

039;It's another step in our understanding of the link between ultra-processed food and health.'

Artificial sweeteners, food packaging and food additives such as titanium dioxide have also been linked to these diseases.

A team in France worked with more than 44,000 people in a study running from 2009 called NutriNet-Santé.

The chances of someone dying in the next seven years increases the more sugary drinks, factory-made breads and biscuits, candies and chocolate bars, mass-produced and packaged snacks, ready meals and processed meat they have in their diet, the study found.

Ultraprocessed foods are processed through industrial methods and can contain additives.

The link was clear even after taking into account the greater likelihood of deprivation, smoking, obesity and lower educational background among those who ate ultra-processed food, the researchers say. More than half the United Kingdom diet is ultra-processed food, the Guardian revealed past year.

Ultra-processed foods tend to be high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

Author Dr Laure Schnabel, a nutritional epidemiologist at Paris-Sorbonne University, said: "Ultra-processed foods contain multiple ingredients".

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Since it is not possible for ethical reasons to conduct a controlled experiment in which one group eats ultra-processed foods and the other does not, observational studies are the only option.

There could be several explanations for the findings, the scientists said.

It was also associated with younger age, poorer education, living alone, lower physical activity and higher body weight.

A major French study published Monday has found for the first time a link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and a higher risk of death, but researchers warned more work was needed to determine which mechanisms were at play. "More needs to be done to address these inequalities".

Some ultra-processed foods contained large amounts of salt, and high sodium intake had been associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and stomach cancer. For every 10 per cent increase, their chances of dying in the period of investigation...

A study past year found 50% of food sold in the United Kingdom is ultra-processed, compared with 46% in Germany and just 14% in France.

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