Ultra-processed foods should be more clearly labelled – as many of them are healthy – NationalWorld

2 minutes, 3 seconds Read
Supermarkets have been accused of 'greedflation' amid the inflation crisis (Picture: Adobe Stock)
Supermarkets have been accused of ‘greedflation’ amid the inflation crisis (Picture: Adobe Stock)

Packaging for ultra-processed foods should be clearer about their nutritional values, a study has concluded.

As a result, academics from University College London (UCL), used different food classification systems to examine a large number of foods which are popular in Britain, and the impact they can have on your diet.

They looked at almost 3,000 different food items and compared their nutritional content with front of pack traffic light labelling, this system provides consumers with colour-coded nutritional information about whether foods have high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt, and where they would fall in the Nova food classification system which categories food and drink into four groups: minimally processed food, processed culinary ingredients, processed food and ultra-processed food.

More than half (55 per cent) of the food and drink items included in the final analysis were ultra-processed, 33 per cent were minimally processed, 10 per cent were classed as processed while two per cent were deemed to have “processed culinary ingredients”, according to the British Journal Of Nutrition study. Minimally processed foods were found to have significantly lower average fat, saturated fat and energy content per 100g than other groups.

Ultra-processed foods contained significantly more fat, saturated fat, total sugar, salt and energy per 100g than minimally processed foods, they said.

Dr Adrian Brown, the lead author of the study and a specialist dietitian from UCL Division of Medicine, said: “Having worked with patients for nearly two decades, one of the biggest challenges for people is to identify what’s healthy and what’s not in a supermarket environment. On the face of it, a low-fat yoghurt may look healthy, but it may also be high in sugar.

“Adding that it’s also ultra-processed will only make these decisions harder. At the moment, things aren’t so clear cut as to say all UPFs are bad and there is a risk of confusing people about what is healthy to eat.”

Some studies and books have linked ultra-processed foods such as ice cream, crisps, mass-produced bread and breakfast cereals to a number of poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of some cancers, weight gain and heart disease. But experts on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) said there are “uncertainties around the quality of evidence available”.

The academics said the observed associations are “concerning” but called for more studies to thoroughly investigate the link.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop