The study, published in the British Medical Journal, does not prove that ultra-processed foods cause disease. Nor does the effect appear particularly large, even in the most enthusiastic junk food consumers. The results suggest that 277 cases of cardiovascular disease would arise each year in 100,000 heavy consumers of ultra-processed foods, versus 242 cases in the same number of low consumers. For the second study, also in the BMJ, a team at the University of Navarra in Pamplona monitored the eating habits and health of nearly 20,000 Spanish graduates from 1999 to 2014. Over the course of the study, 335 participants died. Once factors such as age, sex, body mass index and whether or not people smoked were taken into account, the trend was clear. The top quarter consumers of ultra-processed foods — who had more than four servings a day — were 62% more likely to have died than those in the bottom quarter, who ate less than two portions a day. For each additional serving, the risk of death rose 18%.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: People who eat large amounts of heavily processed foods, from breakfast cereals and ready meals to muffins and ice-cream, have a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, according to two major studies. In the French NutriSante study, researchers at the University of Paris gathered details on the diets and health of more than 105,000 people. Over five years of follow-up, those who consumed the most “ultra-processed” food were most at risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. When the amount of ultra-processed food in the diet rose 10 percentage points, for example from 10% to 20%, the risk of the diseases rose 12%.