Home Blog Study Warns: Packaged Snacks and Fizzy Drinks Linked to Shortened Lifespan

Study Warns: Packaged Snacks and Fizzy Drinks Linked to Shortened Lifespan

by theparliamentnews.com
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New Delhi: Indulging in a diet rich in packaged snacks, fizzy drinks, and other ultra-processed foods could significantly shorten your lifespan and increase the risk of early death, a 30-year-long study published in The BMJ journal has revealed.

The study, conducted by an international team of researchers spanning the US, Brazil, and China, tracked the health outcomes of 74,563 female registered nurses and 39,501 male health professionals over three decades. Participants had no history of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, or diabetes at the study’s onset.

Ultra-processed foods, laden with colors, emulsifiers, flavors, and additives, are often high in energy, added sugar, saturated fat, and salt while lacking essential vitamins and fiber. Overconsumption of these foods has been linked to poor health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The study found that individuals consuming an average of 7 servings per day of ultra-processed foods faced a 4% higher risk of total mortality and a 9% higher risk of mortality from non-communicable diseases. Particularly concerning was the 8% higher risk of neurodegenerative deaths observed in this group.

Further analysis revealed that ready-to-eat meat, poultry, and seafood products posed the greatest risk of premature death, followed closely by sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages, dairy-based desserts, and ultra-processed breakfast foods.

While the study underscores the correlation between ultra-processed food consumption and adverse health outcomes, it is important to note that the research is observational, and causal relationships cannot be definitively established. Nonetheless, the findings offer compelling evidence supporting the need to limit the intake of certain ultra-processed foods for long-term health and well-being.

Moving forward, researchers advocate for improved classification of ultra-processed foods and further studies to validate these findings across diverse populations. As awareness grows regarding the impact of dietary choices on health, individuals are encouraged to adopt balanced diets rich in whole foods to promote longevity and vitality.

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