A new study of 44,500 men and women has uncovered a strong link between eating badly and dying. The study revealed that every 10 per cent increase in overall dietary intake of ultra-processed food was associated with a 14 per cent greater risk of death from any cause.
Ultra-processed foods are defined as foods created through multiple industrial processes and are generally snacks, desserts or ready-to-eat or heat meals. These can include but are not limited to chicken nuggets, instant noodle soups and preserved meat products.
The scientists believed that there were several explanations for the findings. Many ultra-processed foods contain either large amounts of salt, excessive amounts of sugar and contained small amounts of fibre.
Fibre has been shown in other studies to reduce mortality risk and therefore is an important ingredient in foods.
High sodium intake has been linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease and stomach cancer. While excessive sugar in the diet was also linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease death.