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Ultraprocessed food and increased mortality risk?

try2againtry2again Posts: 3,272Member Member Posts: 3,272Member Member
Came across this and thought I'd put it out there for discussion:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2723626?utm_campaign=articlePDF&utm_medium=articlePDFlink&utm_source=articlePDF&utm_content=jamainternmed.2018.7289

I don't feel knowledgeable enough about the subject to comment on it, but am interested to hear others' thoughts.
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Replies

  • cathipacathipa Posts: 2,849Member Member Posts: 2,849Member Member
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    From what I understand they considered ultraprocessed as "grab and go" where processed may be like Hamburger Helper? I couldn't open the entire article so just my guess.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 12,045Member Member Posts: 12,045Member Member
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    I believe someone out there in the world coined the term ultraprocessed to differentiate between lightly processed foods like yogurt or roasted nuts and what most people would consider junk food. I don't believe there's a clear definition, yet I am starting to see scientific sources throw the word around like there is. So maybe there is?

    Perhaps if someone is able to get into the full text they define how they used the term for that study.
    edited February 11
  • try2againtry2again Posts: 3,272Member Member Posts: 3,272Member Member
    cathipa wrote: »
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    From what I understand they considered ultraprocessed as "grab and go" where processed may be like Hamburger Helper? I couldn't open the entire article so just my guess.

    Bummer... I actually posted the thread before I realized the full text was subscription only.
  • cathipacathipa Posts: 2,849Member Member Posts: 2,849Member Member
    Here is what a quick search found:

    Ultra-processed foods: Here’s the category where almost 50% of our calories come from – and where we should cut back. These foods go through multiple processes (extrusion, molding, milling, etc.), contain many added ingredients and are highly manipulated. Examples are soft drinks, chips, chocolate, candy, ice-cream, sweetened breakfast cereals, packaged soups, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, fries and more.

    https://www.heartandstroke.ca/articles/what-is-ultra-processed-food
  • 80sSynthwave80sSynthwave Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    If you're craving cheese and don't want the extra fat, then ultra processed is the way to go. In the instance of milk, fairlife for example, it just means they are removing the lactase (something like that) sugar molecules, which lowers the carb content, and raises the protein concentration. Those are the only two positives I can think of off-hand.
  • ccrdragonccrdragon Posts: 2,243Member Member Posts: 2,243Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    I believe someone out there in the world coined the term ultraprocessed to differentiate between lightly processed foods like yogurt or roasted nuts and what most people would consider junk food. I don't believe there's a clear definition, yet I am starting to see scientific sources throw the word around like there is. So maybe there is?

    Perhaps if someone is able to get into the full text they define how they used the term for that study.

    The one that I see most frequently using the 'ultra' label is the Brazilian government in their description of what people should be eating - like their version of the food pyramid/my plate. The examples that they give for 'ultra' processed are usually things like candy bars and other sweets, confections (like muffins and cup cakes) and the like and 'fast foods'. They consider processed foods to be things like prepared meals (frozen dinners), pasta, whole-grain bread and items like that. They do not count beans, brown rice, quinoa, frozen fruit and the like as processed - although white rice is processed (stripping off the hull) and white breads are considered ultra-processed (I think).
  • try2againtry2again Posts: 3,272Member Member Posts: 3,272Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    Perhaps if someone is able to get into the full text they define how they used the term for that study.

    Duh... it said right there in the article that it's from the NOVA food classification system, which says this:

    "In 2009, in a commentary signed by one of us (1), we argued that the extent and
    purpose of food processing had changed globally, and that these changes were
    driving the emergence of a harmful global food system and the pandemic of obesity
    and other nutrition-related chronic non-communicable diseases. We also argued that
    classifying foods into two groups of unprocessed and processed foods is useless,
    because most foods as now consumed are processed in some way. We then proposed
    a new system to classify foods and food products based on the extent and purpose of
    the industrial processes applied to preserve, extract, modify or create them.

    The new classification, detailed in a later paper (2), included one group made up of
    snacks, drinks, ready meals and many other products created mostly or entirely from
    substances extracted from foods or derived from food constituents with little if any
    intact food, which often contain flavours, colours and other additives that imitate or
    intensify the sensory qualities of foods or culinary preparations made from foods.

    The formulation and the ingredients of these products make them highly convenient
    (ready-to-consume), highly attractive (hyper-palatable), highly profitable (low cost
    ingredients), and – of great importance – highly competitive with foods that are
    naturally ready to consume and freshly prepared dishes and meals. As a result of their
    formulation, products belonging to this food group are intrinsically nutrientunbalanced and tend to be consumed in great amounts. We termed this group ‘ultraprocessed food and drink products’ (1,2)."
    edited February 11
  • try2againtry2again Posts: 3,272Member Member Posts: 3,272Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    try2again wrote: »
    I'll also link an interesting post from @Aaron_K123 :smile:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10652594/the-issue-with-processed-foods-opinion/p1

    Question: what's the difference between processed and ultraprocessed?

    From the article...
    Exposures The ultraprocessed foods group (from the NOVA food classification system), characterized as ready-to-eat or -heat formulations made mostly from ingredients usually combined with additives.

    So I would think ultra-processed would be frozen, ready to eat meals, Mac 'n cheese in a box, frozen pizzas...pretty much anything in the freezer section that you can just heat up real quick, fast food, etc. Whereas things like milk, cheese, canned beans, tuna, etc are processed, but not to such an extent.

    I think the correlation makes sense. Such a diet would be lacking nutritionally and someone eating such a diet would not likely be doing anything much for their health like regular exercise and probably would have other unhealthy habits that are engaged in routinely.

    Yes, you're right. I'm a good illustration of how people have different ideas of what is meant when people say "processed" food. I don't think of things like milk & beans when I think of "processed" food in the first place, so the difference between what would be considered "processed" and "ultraprocessed" confused me. :)

  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,291Member Member Posts: 1,291Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I'm very suspect of such studies utilizing popular nebulous terms.

    I'm sure there are multiple correlative factors, but no meaningful causative factor.

    Terribly unhelpful as this furthers the body of misinformation distracting the public to the fact that weight gain is solely due to caloric surplus.

    The study doesn't seem to be focusing on obesity though. I'm sure it's a factor (mortality rates) but not the sole focus unless I misunderstood it?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,704Member Member Posts: 5,704Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I'm very suspect of such studies utilizing popular nebulous terms.

    I'm sure there are multiple correlative factors, but no meaningful causative factor.

    Terribly unhelpful as this furthers the body of misinformation distracting the public to the fact that weight gain is solely due to caloric surplus.

    The study doesn't seem to be focusing on obesity though. I'm sure it's a factor (mortality rates) but not the sole focus unless I misunderstood it?

    Precisely my point. A purposeful omission? The design of experience disregards the elements leading to mortality. The establishment of the control group is also remarkably vague and disregards logistics - available vs. non-available food.

    Reminiscent of the "links" between high voltage towers and various health issues that pop up from time to time.
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