Nutri-Score, an insufficient index for choosing foods correctly


What aspect of nutrition is most associated with mortality risk? A new study published in British Medical Journal part of SupposedlySupposedly That foods are distinguished not only by their nutritional composition, but also by the degree of their processing.

Nutri-Score and Nova: two related rating systems

As a reminder, ultra-processed foods are artificial formulations that are made by breaking down whole foods into chemical components, modifying them and recombining them with additives. They belong to group 4 of the classification novanova which lists foods according to their degree of processing rather than their content NutrientsNutrients.

Developed in France, the Nutri-Score indicates the nutritional quality of food (eg based on fat content, salt, fiber, etc.) on a scale of five ColorsColors. Should soon allow food labeling In front of meIn front of me European standard uniform.

You should know that these two rating systems are related, since more than 80% of the foods identified as “unhealthy” by the Nutri-Score are also highly processed. If reported separately as being associated with poor outcomes in ThingThing healthy in regimentsregiments populations worldwide, their combined effect on health in large cohorts has not been evaluated.

Italian researchers followed nearly 22,900 adults (mean age 55; 48% men) for 14 years, accounting for both the nutritional composition of the diet and the degree of food processing.

As found in previous studies, Nutri-Score and Nova rating are associated with mortality (cardiovascular and all-cause). But the statistical models the researchers used also allowed them to see how much excess risk associated with a poor diet could be due to the overprocessing of food, and vice versa.

Direct access to information about the degree of food processing

We found that some of the excess deaths associated with poor quality diets are explained by the fact that these diets are highly processed.Reports Mariella Bonaccio, epidemiologist and first author of the study. Conversely, the increased mortality risk associated with highly processed diets is unlikely to be attributed to the lower nutritional quality of these foods. »

For the researchers, it is imperative that consumers also know a food’s processed score, not just the Nutri-Score. ” We need to focus on foods that the Nutri-Score classifies as nutritionally sound but also highly processed. explains Giuseppe Grosso, co-author of the study, in a press release. ” This is the case, for example, of some drinks which, although they have a low content of sugarssugarsand therefore adequate from a nutritional point of view (letter B in Nutri-Score), in fact highly processed. »

The one-stop solution is to make fresh, minimally-processed foods available, attractive, and affordable. and support initiatives to promote meals prepared with fresh, minimally processed foods, using smaller amounts of cooking ingredients and processed foods.

Ultra-processed foods: more reasons to eat less

Article from Claire WayClaire WayPosted on 09/09/2022

In a large study of the consumption of ultra-processed foods in men and women, researchers found that men who ate a lot of them had a higher risk of colorectal cancer than others.

Ultra-processed foods, which are on all our supermarket shelves, are often characterized by low nutritional quality and presencefood additivesfood additives and compounds from contact packages. If they make up 31% of the French plate, the situation is even worse in the United States, where they account for 57% of the total. CaloriesCalories Adults consume it daily.

A team led by researchers from Tufts and Harvard universities has shown a link between ultra-processed foods and colorectal cancer in men. The results of their work have just been published in British Medical Journal.

Why a new study?

Previous studies reported that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of all types of cancers. Among them, the researchers saw that colorectal cancer can be particularly affected by diet.

Processed meats, most of which fall into the category of ultra-processed foods, are a risk factorrisk factor Colon and rectal cancerIn a statement from Tufts University, Lu Wang, co-author of the study. Ultra-processed foods are also high in added sugars and low in fiber, which contributes to weight gain and fat loss.obesityobesity ; However, obesity is an established risk factor for colorectal cancer. »

Obesity in adolescents increases the risk of developing cancer in adulthood

Three large US cohorts gathered more than 200,000 participants (including women) as part of a 25-year study. Every four years, each participant was asked to enter their average intake of about 130 foods, divided into categories of ultra-processed foods. The participants were then rated themselves according to how often they consumed that type of food.

The worst categories: meat and fish products, and sugary drinks

Not surprisingly, heavier consumers of ultra-processed foods have a higher risk of colorectal cancer. However, if the general link was established for men (29% additional risk compared to low consumers), women were only concerned with certain subgroups of ultra-processed foods.

Among men, the strongest link between ultra-processed foods and colorectal cancer came from ready-to-eat meat products (such as sausage, bacon, or ham) or fishfish. The second category of offending foods includes sugary drinks, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks.

If the results found are different for women, More research would be needed to determine if there was a real gender difference in the associations, or if the uncontrolled confounders in women had EasesEases Link Write the authors. In the surprise department, the latter found an inverse association between ultra-processed dairy products like some yogurts and colorectal cancer risk in women. These foods can counteract the harmful effects of other types of ultra-processed foods in women. Our diet is caused by a combination of nutrients.

How can the impact of this super shift on our health be explained? ” The potential role of food additives in altering the gut microbiota and promoting inflammation, as well as contaminants that form during food processing or migrate from food packaging, may promote the development of cancer. Fangfang Zhang, a cancer epidemiologist summed it up.


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