Ultraprocessed foods linked to ovarian and other cancer deaths, study finds

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A new study of more than 197,000 people in the United Kingdom found that eating more ultraprocessed foods increased their risk of developing and dying from cancer, particularly ovarian cancer, more than half of whom were women.

Excessively processed foods include prepackaged soups, sauces, frozen pizza and ready-to-eat meals, hot dogs, sausages, french fries, sodas, store-bought cookies, cakes, candies, donuts, ice cream, and more.

“Ultra-processed foods are made from industrially derived ingredients and often use food additives to improve color, taste, consistency, texture, or extend shelf life,” said first author Dr. Kiara Chang, a National Institutes of Health Research Fellow at London’s Imperial College of Public Health’s School of Health and Care, said in a statement.

“Our bodies don’t react the same way to these ultra-processed ingredients and additives as they do to fresh and nutritious less processed foods,” Chang said.

However, people who eat more processed foods “drink more fizzy drinks and less tea and coffee, as well as fewer vegetables and other foods associated with a healthy diet,” said registered dietitian and senior author Duane Mellor. Fellow, Aston Medical School, Birmingham, UK, by email.

“This is not specifically an effect of highly processed foods, but rather reflects the effect of eating less healthy food,” said Mellor, who was not involved in the study.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal eClinicalMedicine, looked at the association between ultraprocessed foods and 34 types of cancer over a 10-year period.

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Researchers analyzed dietary information from 197,426 people who were part of the UK Biobank Residents from 2006 to 2010.

The amount of ultraprocessed foods consumed by people in the study ranged from a low of 9.1% to a high of 41.4%. Their diet, the study found.

The diets were then compared to medical records, which listed both diagnoses and deaths from cancer.

Every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food consumption was associated with a 2% increase in developing any cancer, and a 19% increased risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. A report published by Imperial College London.

Deaths from cancer have also increased, the study found. For every additional 10% increase in ultraprocessed food consumption, the risk of dying from any cancer increased by 6%, while the risk of dying from ovarian cancer increased by 30%, the report said.

“These associations persisted after adjustment for socio-demographics, smoking status, physical activity and major dietary factors,” the authors wrote.

When it comes to cancer deaths among women, ovarian cancer ranks fifth. More deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system” As noted by the American Cancer Society.

“The findings support previous studies showing a link between dietary ultra-processed foods (UPFs) and an increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes,” said nutrition scientist Simon Steenson. The British Nutrition Foundation is a charity supported in part by food producers and manufacturers. Steenson was not involved in the new study.

“However, an important limitation of these previous studies and the new analysis published today is that the findings are observational and therefore do not provide evidence of a clear causal link between UPFs and the risk of cancer or other diseases,” Steenson said in a statement. Email.

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Those who consumed the most ultraprocessed foods “were younger and had less family history of cancer,” Chang and his colleagues wrote.

People who consume more ultraprocessed foods are less likely to be physically active and more likely to be classified as obese. These people have lower family income and education and are more likely to live in more disadvantaged communities, the study found.

“This study adds to the growing body of evidence that highly processed foods can negatively affect our health, including our risk of cancer,” said Dr Esther Vamos, lead author of the study and senior lecturer in medicine at London’s Imperial College School of Public Health. In a statement.

This latest research is not the first to show a link between ultraprocessed foods and cancer.

A 2022 study Studying the diets of more than 200,000 men and women in the United States for up to 28 years, they found a link between ultraprocessed foods and colon cancer – It is the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States – in men, but not in women.

And “there are hundreds of studies linking ultraprocessed foods to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and overall mortality,” says Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. CNN previously told the company.

While the new UK-based study couldn’t prove causation, only an association, Vamos said, “Other available evidence shows that reducing highly processed foods in our diet can provide important health benefits.” said.

“Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand the widespread presence of highly processed foods in our diet and better public health strategies to reduce harm,” he added.

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