Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices India®

(An Autonomous Body Recognized by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India)

Ultra-processed foods could be the new 'silent' killer'

Ultra-processed foods, laden with additives like oils, sugars, and emulsifiers, constitute a significant portion of American diets, posing health risks despite minimal nutritional value. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine highlight this issue in a commentary published in The American Journal of Medicine. While professional bodies advocate for choosing minimally processed foods, the lack of a clear definition for ultra-processed foods complicates guidelines. Even without harmful additives, overconsumption of these foods increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Public health organizations classify foods using the NOVA system, emphasizing the dangers of industrially manufactured products with unfamiliar ingredients. Evidence suggests these additives disrupt gut microbiota balance, potentially leading to inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Drawing parallels to historical tobacco regulation, the authors anticipate policy shifts to discourage ultra-processed food consumption as awareness grows.