Ultra-processed foods, like packaged foods and drink products, are associated with a wide range of health problems, like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective of this research is to evaluate the association between the consumption of ultra-processed food and the risk of CVD.

This is a population-based cohort study that included a total of 105,159 participants aged at least 18 years. Repeated 24-hour dietary records were used to collect the dietary intake of the participants, and the foods were categorized according to the degree of processing. The primary outcome of this study was the overall risk of cardiovascular, coronary heart, and cerebrovascular diseases.

During the mean follow-up of 5.2 years, researchers found that the intake of ultra-processed food was positively associated with a higher risk of heart-related diseases. A total of 1,409 overall cardiovascular diseases, 665 coronary heart diseases, and 829 cerebrovascular diseases were reported. The results remained statistically significant after making adjustments in nutritional quality and large-scale sensitivity analysis. The factors in processing associated with the higher risk of diseases are additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants.

The research concluded that a higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular, coronary heart, and cerebrovascular diseases.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1451