Peer-influenced content. Sources you trust. No registration required. This is HCN.

British Medical JournalAssociation of Ultra-processed Food Consumption with All-cause and Cause-specific Mortality: Population-based Cohort Study

Incremental Risks of Ultra-Processed Food Consumption on Long-Term Mortality

This comprehensive study investigates the long-term health impacts associated with the consumption of ultra-processed foods, spanning over three decades of data from two significant US cohorts. By examining the subtle yet discernible elevations in mortality linked to these dietary choices, particularly those non-cancer and non-cardiovascular related, the findings offer critical insights for physicians focusing on dietary guidance and preventive health strategies.

Key Points:

  • Study Design and Population: Utilizing data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the research covers 34 years of follow-up, involving more than 113,000 individuals without prior major chronic diseases at baseline.
  • Main Findings: Higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with a modest increase in all-cause mortality. The most pronounced effects are observed in mortality from causes other than cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
  • Specific Food Associations: Notable associations were found between specific types of ultra-processed foods and mortality. Meat, poultry, and seafood-based ready-to-eat products, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and dairy-based desserts, show stronger links to increased mortality risks.
  • Impact of Dietary Quality: The study highlights that overall dietary quality, as measured by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010, inversely correlates with mortality, indicating the protective effects of higher diet quality even within the context of ultra-processed food consumption.
  • Gender and Age Considerations: Similar mortality associations were observed in both male and female participants, suggesting that the findings are broadly applicable across different demographic groups.
  • Statistical Analysis: Adjustments for various confounders such as age, lifestyle factors, and baseline health status were rigorously applied, strengthening the reliability of the findings.
  • Sensitivity Analyses: Extensive sensitivity testing confirms the robustness of the primary outcomes, with certain analyses indicating even stronger associations when excluding potential confounders like smoking.

In a JAMA study of 44,551 French adults 45 years or older, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed food consumption was statistically significantly associated with a 14% higher risk of all-cause mortality.

More on Diet & Nutrition

The Healthcare Communications Network is owned and operated by IQVIA Inc.

Click below to leave this site and continue to IQVIA’s Privacy Choices form