In my view: We need honesty on food products

Ultra-processed foods are contributing to the obesity crisis
Dr Martin Scurr

Do you know what constitutes a processed or ultra-processed food (UPF)? There has been a lot of talk about UPFs recently, but I suspect quite a few people are confused about what makes it different from the former.

A processed food is one that has been altered in some way (which may include something as basic as being put into a can or a jar).

In contrast, by definition (and I refer to the work of the Brazilian researchers who first identified them), UPFs are mostly or entirely made with ingredients that sound as if they belong in a chemistry lab rather than on our plates. A multitude of processes are used to make these long-lasting, highly profitable, highly palatable products.

The evidence that UPFs are a major factor in the escalating obesity crisis is mounting and yet the options to change this are limited. What’s more, we have little idea about what it is in UPFs — chemicals and additives, or something else — that’s actually causing the harm.

The time has come for food producers and governments to commit more time and energy to exploring the potential pitfalls of UPFs. I acknowledge that food production is a business and people want to eat well for less, but we must prioritise the health of the nation.

© Solo dmg media