Frozen pizzas and other ultra-processed appetizers cause early death

A recent study demonstrates that processed, ready-to-eat goods, such as frozen pizzas, snacks, beans, and tuna in a can, which appear to save a great deal of time, are damaging to our health and even shorten our lifespans.

Consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) causes chronic and fatal diseases that can be avoided with a balanced diet, according to a study conducted by Brazilian researchers.

Over 10% of premature deaths are attributable to UPFs, according to a significant study about dietary choices published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The ingredients in ready-to-eat-or-heat foods are derived from foods or manufactured in laboratories. Soups, sauces, candies, sodas, and donuts are also included in prepackaged foods. It is crucial to remember that higher-income and more developed nations consume more UFPs and may have poorer dietary practices.

In a media release, lead researcher Eduardo AF Nilson, ScD, Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health, University of So Paulo, and Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil, stated, “Previous modelling studies have estimated the health and economic burden of critical ingredients, such as sodium, sugar, and trans fats, and specific foods or drinks, such as sugar-sweetened beverages.”

He said no study had previously estimated how these foods could affect premature mortality.

“Knowing the mortality attributed to these items and modeling how changes in dietary patterns can promote more effective food policies may save disease and untimely deaths.”

The authors gathered information from nationally representative dietary surveys. According to age and gender, the intakes were estimated. Through the statistical analysis, researchers determined that between 13 and 21 percent of the food consumed in Brazil in 2019 was obtained from unrefined plant foods.

541,260 adults between 30 and 69 died prematurely in the same year. Preventable and noncommunicable diseases accounted for 261,061 of these untimely deaths. According to researchers, around 57,000 deaths were related to UPFs.

The authors hypothesized that countries with high incomes, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, may be at greater risk due to their high caloric intake.

According to the researchers’ findings, a 10% to 50% reduction in UPF use might save between 5,900 and 29,300 deaths.

Nilson observed, “Consumption of UPFs is connected with various illness outcomes, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some malignancies, and other diseases, and it is a major cause of preventable and untimely deaths among Brazilian adults.”