"Ultra"-processed foods lead to early death from cancer and heart disease - DUH!
Garden City Park, NY: Summer is on its way—but so, apparently, is a steady worldwide surge of diet-related deaths. Amid the growing tide of medical studies conducted and announced over the past decade, two new studies out of France and Spain show a link between repeated consumption of "ultra-processed" foods and early death from cancer and heart disease.
As reported by BBC News, the first study—conducted by Spain's University of Navarra—spent a decade in which they followed and recorded each year the diet of 19,899 people, while France's University of Paris observed the eating habits of 105,159 people over a five-year period.
From the 335 deaths that occurred during the course of their study, the University of Navarra found there were 16 deaths among those who ate the most ultra-processed food for every 10 deaths of those who ate the least. In the University of Paris study, meanwhile, heart disease and cancer rates stood at 277 people per 100,000 per year among those who ate the most ultra-processed food—compared with the lower figure of 242 people per 100,000 each year among those who had eaten the lesser amounts.
Yet, despite a spate of evidence that names all manner of processed foods as the culprit in our ongoing global health woes, the experts remain reluctant to confirm the dangers. As a result, much of the general public ignores these findings—and keeps on eating their poor diet.
One expert not afraid to point the finger, though, is former FDA investigator Dr. Renee Dufault. As she examines at length in her book Unsafe at Any Meal, this early-stage epidemic of food-related disease and death is entirely the fault of processed foods and beverages. Fuller blame rests with the often global food corporations that make billions each year on the backs—and bodies—of those consumers who are unwittingly led, by a sustained and well-funded blitz of advertisements and misinformation, into slow-phase slaughter . . . care of their dining tables.
Again, this is not the first clue that processed foods are bad for us. This past March, a group of Harvard researchers with the T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered a direct and dangerous link between drinking "sodas, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages" and the increased likelihood of dying from heart disease and breast or colon cancers. Spoken in everyday language, the study showed you can shorten your life span by fourteen to eighteen percent (14 - 18%) if or when you drink just two cans of soda.
Then last year in August 2018, another study was announced by the national media, whereby an advocacy group called the Environmental Working Group has discovered trace levels of a dangerous crop-dusting herbicide called glyphosate in Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and a variety of other processed breakfast foods that the report showed could increase the likelihood of cancer in young children.
This aggregate flurry of bad food news stretches back even further to October 2017, when a major study conducted by the nonprofit organization The Clean Label Project found alarming levels of arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals in approximately eighty percent (80%) of infant formulas sold on the market. According to the World Health Organization at that time, arsenic in particular remains associated with a higher occurrence of autism, ADHD, heart issues, diabetes, and cancer among children and adults alike.
In other words, the presence of harmful chemicals in processed baby foods has the power to turn our collective "cradle to grave" life span into a far shorter trip.
Of course, Dr. Dufault has known about and been trying to spread word of this worrisome lapse in food safety to the public since 2004. When ordered to stop her investigation of this problem with processed foods by senior management at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), she opted instead for early retirement and soon after founded the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute (FIHRI)—the only federally-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the US devoted entirely to food ingredient safety, consumer education, and research. In her continued role as a food safety whistle-blower, Dr. Dufault remains committed to educating the public about the perils of processed foods—in particular, the harmful role that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) plays alongside those trace levels of toxic heavy metals that continue to be found in much of the "fast" food that too many of us eat.
If you like being alive, and want to minimize your chances of dying young from a heart attack or cancer, then read Unsafe at Any Meal and learn once and for all what you should eat and what you shouldn't. What do you have to lose by taking this step, other than your life?