A comprehensive 2017 study out of Brazil is telling us something we shouldn’t have to be told: decreasing ultra-processed food would improve our overall health. Well, duh. I mean, it seems obvious, right? And yet, those pizza pops aren’t going to eat themselves, amirite?
According to this study, US citizens get on average nearly 60% of their calories from ultra-processed foods, with those at the higher end of calorie intake recording closer to 80% of their calories from this type of food. The study is quite complex and the researchers looked at both micro and macro nutrient intake across the large sample group of over 9,000 participants, showing that those reporting the highest calorie ratio from ultra-processed food had decreased macro and micro nutrients in their systems and were overall less healthy.
What’s sad is that this information doesn’t even surprise me. In fact, I thought the percentage would be higher. In related news, a report I read today says that the majority of people, especially millennials, eschew completely the three meals a day model and tend to eat on the go or eat in front of screens, with no fixed meal times. This type of “dining” lends itself rather nicely to eating ultra-processed foods because they’re easy to prepare, to eat (often not needing utensils or plates), and they’re cheap.
It’s all alarming as we watch the steady decline of our health due to completely preventable diseases and lifestyles. However, there was some good food news this week. Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder of KIND, gave $25 million to start an organization called Feed the Truth, a watch dog of sorts, which the website states “will provide resources such as infographics, relevant studies/media stories, and other documents in an effort to bring more transparency to the (food) industry and help educate consumers.” Halle-freaking-lujah.
I wish I could be Queen of the world, or could sign an executive order that would ban crappy food from being sold, especially when it’s sold under the guise of being good for you. Alas, I don’t have any dictator genes and I like to give people some credit that they can think for themselves. But thinking for oneself involves having facts presented that aren’t fabricated aren’t “alternative” in any way. Hopefully, the Feed the Truth people can help us help ourselves.