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Eating ultraprocessed foods is associated with early risk of death, study finds

A 30-year study has found that eating ultraprocessed foods is associated with an early risk of death, emphasizing that different foods have different impacts.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, ultraprocessed foods are those that contain ingredients “never or rarely used in kitchens, or classes of additives whose function is to make the final product palatable or more appealing”.

Those ingredients — found in things such as sodas, chips, packaged soups, nuggets and ice cream — can include preservatives against mold or bacteria, artificial coloring, emulsifiers to stop separation, and added or altered sugar, salt and fats to make food more appealing.

The study—published on Wednesday in The BMJ journal—analyzed data from more than 100,000 health professionals in the United States with no history of cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. From 1986 to 2018, the participants provided information on their health and lifestyle habits every two years.

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