Home Life & Style Chicken nuggets 'could lead to early death' along with other popular foods

Chicken nuggets 'could lead to early death' along with other popular foods

Ultra-processed foods such as chicken nuggets and hotdogs could lead to an early death, scientists have found.

A 30-year study from Havard University tracked more than 114,000 adults to look at the long-term consequences of modern diets.

It found the highest risks were associated with meats such as ham and sausages, with regular consumers 13 percent more likely to die over the 34 years tracked.

Those with diets that were high in sugary and artificially sweetened drinks were also at an increased risk, being nine percent more likely to die.

Meanwhile people eating packaged goods and snacks were found to be four percent more likely to die. These foods are known to have links to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.

The major study was one of the few to track such a long period of time and examine the overall deaths of people involved.

It also looked into the impact of different ultra-processed foods, reports The Telegraph.

The study found dairy desserts like cheesecake and fromage frais saw a six percent increase in deaths, while breads and breakfast cereal increased the likelihood by four percent.

The study followed 74,563 female nurses and 39,501 male health workers between 1984 and 2018. Female participants were aged between 30 and 55 at the start of the research, while men were between 40 and 75.

Participants provided information on their health and lifestyle habits every two years with detailed information about food every four years.

In the years covered, researchers identified 48,193 deaths from cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers found people who ate high quantities of ultra-processed food – around seven servings each day – were four percent more at risk than the lowest consumers.

The strongest links to death were found between meat, poultry and seafood ready-to-eat products, such as sausages, ham, hot dogs, convenience meals and processed snacks.

“Our findings suggest that meat/poultry/seafood-based ready-to-eat products and sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages are major factors contributing to the harmful influence of ultra-processed foods on mortality,” researchers from Harvard’s Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition concluded.

They said the findings “provide support for limiting consumption of certain types of ultra-processed food for long-term health”.

Ultra-processed foods are considered to include packaged baked foods, fizzy drinks, sugary cereal, and read-to-eat or heat products. They often contain colourings, emulsifiers. flavourings and additives.

They are often high in energy, added sugar, saturated fat and salt, but lack vitamins and fibre.

There is no clear definition of ultra-processed with nutritionists often left debating items such as wholemeal bread.

The Havard study considered wholegrain foods as non-ultra-processed. Researchers said they were excluded due to their benefits at lowering mortality.


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