Consumption of ultra-processed foods has increased over the past two decades across nearly all segments of the U.S. population, according to a new study by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health.
“The overall composition of the average U.S. diet has shifted towards a more processed diet. This is concerning, as eating more ultra-processed foods is associated with poor diet quality and higher risk of several chronic diseases,” said Filippa Juul, an assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at NYU School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “The high and increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods in the 21st century may be a key driver of the obesity epidemic.”
Ultra-processed foods are industrially manufactured, ready-to-eat or heat, include additives, and are largely devoid of whole foods. Previous studies by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health have found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with obesity and heart disease.
Excerpted from Science Daily