Highly processed foods often include unhealthy levels of added sugar, sodium, and fat. These ingredients make the foods we eat taste better, but too much of them causes serious health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Highly processed foods are often high in sugar, fat and empty calories. The consumption of many of these foods has long been linked to an increased risk of suffering from a wide variety of health problems that can lead to heart disease or serious diseases prematurely, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and depression.
Most importantly, children who consume a large amount of ultra-processed foods are more likely to develop dyslipidemia, obesity, and hypertension later in life. And many people don't realize the harm that processed foods cause to Americans who live in urban areas where they don't have easy access to fresh, whole foods. However, both studies took into account well-known lifestyle-related risk factors and markers of diet quality, and the findings support other research linking highly processed foods to poor health. For this reason, both research teams affirm that policies are needed to limit the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet and promote the consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods to improve global public health.