I’ve told you before about the dangers of too much ultra-processed food in your diet. A new study reports that “ultra-processed foods made up two-thirds of the average American kid’s diet.” The study included data on “over 30,000 U.S. children and adolescents,” and concluded that “ultra-processed foods made up [about 61 percent] of the estimated total energy consumption in 1999 but increased to 67 percent by 2018.” Ultra-processed foods are defined as “pre-made ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat foods,” and are generally “high in sugar, trans fat, sodium, and refined starch.” Ultra-processed foods include sweetened breakfast cereals, flavored potato chips, energy drinks, and flavored granola bars with added sugar and preservatives. As a result, they are very low in healthy fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. There was a significant jump in the number of calories consumed by kids who ate ultra-processed foods such as pizza, sandwiches, and hamburgers. The good news is that kids are consuming about have as many sugar-sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, fruit-sweetened drinks, and other sweetened beverages. The findings were published in JAMA Open Network.
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