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Ultra-processed food may increase risk of cancer

IANS  |  London 

Increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods such as packaged baked goods and snacks, fizzy drinks, sugary cereals and reconstituted products, may possibly raise the risk of developing of the breast, prostate and bowel, researchers have warned.

Processed that accounts for up to 50 per cent of the total in several countries, contains high levels of sugar, fat and salt and lacks vitamins and fibre.

The study found that a 10 per cent increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a 12 per cent increase in overall risk and 11 per cent increase in breast risk.

"To our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate and highlight an increase in the risk of overall -- and specifically breast associated with ultra-processed intake," said the team led by from the French Institute of and Medical Research (Inserm) in

In addition, processed foods may also raise the risk of obesity, and cholesterol.

For the findings, published in the British Medical Journal, the researchers studied over 104,980 healthy adults (22 per cent men and 78 per cent women) with an average age of 43 years.

Several well known risk factors for cancer, such as age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking status and physical activity levels, were taken into account.

Consumption of fresh or minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, rice, pasta, eggs, meat, fish and milk was also associated with lower risks of and

However, no significant association was found between less processed foods such as canned vegetables, cheeses and freshly made unpackaged bread and risk of cancer.

Policies targeting product reformulation, taxation and marketing restrictions on ultra-processed products and promotion of fresh or minimally processed foods may contribute to prevention, the researchers suggested.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 18:52 IST