Processed foods: scientist calls for warnings

Many people are unaware of the dangers of ultra processed foods Credit:Digital Buggu/pexels

Consuming ultra-processed foods (UPFs) is on the rise globally, leading to a displacement of healthy diets, according to Professor Carlos Monteiro of the University of Sao Paulo.

Monteiro, who coined the term “ultra-processed food,” will address the International Congress on Obesity this week, highlighting the dangers UPFs pose to both children and adults.

Consumption of UPF’s is growing

This stark warning comes as consumption of UPFs, including sugary cereals, processed meats, instant noodles, and sugary drinks, skyrockets worldwide. In countries like the UK and US, these convenient yet unhealthy options now make up over half of the average person’s diet. For some demographics, particularly younger people, low-income earners, and those in disadvantaged areas, UPFs can comprise a staggering 80 per cent of their daily intake.

The dangers of UPFs are not new. A major study published in February linked them to a multitude of health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and even mental health issues and premature death.

Professor Monteiro plans to unveil his concerns at the conference, arguing that food companies purposefully exploit consumers’ desire for convenience and affordability by making UPFs more appealing than fresh, home-cooked meals.

Processed foods are dominating many diets

This news raises concerns about the global food landscape and the potential long-term health consequences of a diet dominated by ultra-processed options.

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Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at