HEALTH

According to a research, eating meals with high processing levels increases the chance of dying from chronic respiratory illnesses

A diet heavy in ultra-processed foods may considerably raise the chance of dying from chronic respiratory ailments, according to a recent scientific study spanning almost two decades. According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, these meals are considered “nutritionally inferior,” meaning they are poor suppliers of vital nutrients like antioxidants, which exacerbate lung diseases and cause inflammation.

According to the study, there was a 26% increased chance of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung ailment that obstructs airflow and makes breathing difficult, among those whose diet included more than 40% ultra-processed items. Additionally, the researchers discovered that these diets increased the overall risk of death by 10% from chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, and chronic bronchitis.

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The research examined information gathered from over 96,000 US citizens between 1999 and 2018. Researchers found that those who ate the most ultra-processed foods were often younger, had higher BMIs, were more likely to develop diabetes, emphysema, and high blood pressure, and had lower-quality diets overall. According to lead author Tefera Mekonnen, a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide in Australia, “participants who consumed the largest amount of ultra-processed foods were typically younger with a higher BMI and a greater risk of diabetes, emphysema, and high blood pressure, as well as having lower overall dietary quality.”

Foods like chips, chocolate, lollipops, biscuits, processed meat, fried chicken, soft drinks, and ice cream are examples of ultra-processed foods. “These foods are full of preservatives and additives that get into the bloodstream and may contribute to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, exacerbating respiratory conditions,” Mekonnen said.

According to the researchers, this is one of the largest studies on the effects of highly processed meals on respiratory health that has been done to date. According to the research, cutting down on ultra-processed food consumption may greatly enhance lung health and lower the chance of dying from long-term respiratory conditions.

Lead author Tefera Mekonnen, a PhD candidate at Adelaide University in Australia, said that further studies are required to examine the processes through which diets affect respiratory health.

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