Imprimir Republish


The weight of ultraprocessed food

Ultraprocessed foods: eaters tend to gain weight

LEON BROOKS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONSUltraprocessed foods: eaters tend to gain weightLEON BROOKS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A recent study by the Center for Epidemiology Research on Nutrition and Health at the University of São Paulo (Nupens-USP), based on data reported by 30,243 Brazilians over the age of 10 during a National Diet Survey conducted between 2008 and 2009, showed that 30% of the energy obtained (from food) by the respondents came from highly processed industrialized products like breads, pizzas, hamburgers, sweetened drinks, sweets, and cookies (Preventive Medicine, December 2015). By dividing and analyzing the complete sample into smaller groups, sorted by the amount of processed foods consumed, the researchers verified that individuals who ate a diet rich in industrialized products – those who obtained at least 44% of their energy from ready-to-eat foods – had higher body mass indexes than people who were less accustomed to eating this type of food. Respondents who frequently ate that kind of processed food also carried a significantly higher statistical risk of being obese, or at least overweight. According to the study, industrialized foods produced by post-processing the components of natural foods or by chemical synthesis tend to be highly palatable and encourage overeating.