11 minutes read time

We all like junk food. And we all know the potentially bad outcomes of junk food as well. A recent study has found out that junk food is worse than it looks.

Summary

  • This is confirmed by a leading medical publication.
  • Not only causing diabetes and obesity; over-processed food is a much darker evil.
  • Ultra-processed food has a partner in crime.
  • Can we do anything about Junk Food?
  • The shocking suggestion, probably the only one in healthy food research discipline

Source

On the last Wednesday, BMJ medical journal published two controversial research papers unmasking a shocking truth. The journal is a pioneer in medical research and has been around since 1840. Therefore, their opinion is truly educated. The food we are talking about is ultra processed food – Nova Group 4 foods, such as soft drinks, sweet or savoury packaged snacks, reconstituted meat products and pre-prepared frozen dishes.

junk-food-diseases-cancer
Yes, tasty. But would that end after being tasty?

Findings

The study happened in United States and Italy. The brief conclusions are as follows;

  1. Increased ultra-processed food consumption leads to escalated risk of cardiovascular diseases and often end up in mortality.
  2. If not the above, mostly colorectal cancer can be a prominent outcome. This was primarily seen in the male population.
  3. Apart from the new findings, the researchers also confirmed the traditional diseases connected to processed food to be true. This includes type 2 diabetes, prolonged obesity, hypertension, cerebrovascular diseases as well as depression.

What are they saying?

The researchers have isolated two variables leading to the findings. Quality of Diet and Ultra-Processed Food Consumption Ratio Per Day go hand in hand and collectively worked to result the above three conclusions. Simply, if you are consuming junk food a lot and you know that the food has a low quality, you will have to look after yourself.

junk-food-diseases-cancer
What they have found is too shocking for me. So I dropped my ice cream to my stomach.

According to these investigators at university of Sao Paulo, ultra-processed food contain food additives (like dietary emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners). These induce the microorganisms in our gut for a pro-inflammatory reaction, thereby producing large amount of internal secretions. That is why we feel thirsty after a junk food consumption (to wash away these secretions). But before the water comes there passing the stomach, these fluids begin deteriorating gut cells, assuming the inflammatory reaction. This promotes colon cancer.

The researchers also have added that, “a variety of mechanisms triggered by non-nutritional components, such as cosmetic additives, food contact materials, neo-formed compounds, and degradation of the food matrix.”

But, Does it end there?

Well, definitely not. There is more to this evil. What if we remove one variable. We can increase the quality of junk food, let’s say for an example, by replacing traditional sugar with artificial alternatives. But what do we know about artificial sweeteners. Are they not a combination of several harmful chemicals? See, the problem does not end there.

Why are we consuming these junk foods even though they are unhealthy?

Most of these food are produced by multinational blue chip companies, which are backed by billions and billions of marketing dollars. These ultra processed category has 4 distinctive features;

  1. Ready to consume – Convenience
  2. Using low cost ingredients – Affordable
  3. Sweet or Savoury, but highly Palatable

These features gets them a prominent place in diet and they are well backed by marketing budgets. So, can we say NO?

junk-food-diseases-cancer
We can never say NO to food. Can we?

What they suggest?

This is where it becomes interesting. Self containing has been the popular choice of words from authorities and even researchers. But here they suggest self containing is their least preferable option. Think for a minute, see those ads from junk food companies with bright colours and mouth watering images? Can you resist yourself? Well, I can’t.

According to these realistic duo of researchers, they suggest a rather sensible proposition. It is only through regulations and policies that we can counter the horrors of junk food. This includes strong guidelines to control advertisements of these companies. Quality control of print and online media is their main suggestion and nothing makes sense than this in whole of health researches for the decade. You guessed right. The analogy is Tabaco. The authorities should discourage the consumption in this way. But would that ever happen? That is the real problem.

Was there any history?

Well, UK parliament once brought a likewise legislation. Do you know what happened? The house rejected it. The ground was as the inflation is rising, population needs cheep food. Justifiable enough? The enormous health budgets will be catastrophic and no one will be able to afford it. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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13 Responses

  1. Hi. Good article Can Ultra Processed Food Kill You? Shocking Results of the Study:

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