The Food Chain

Do we need to talk about ‘ultra-processed food’?

The Food Chain delves into the world of ‘Ultra-Processed Food’ - a term coined in Brazil that has been provoking debate around the world.

Ultra Processed Food is a term that encompasses a broad range of common products from industrialised bread to breakfast cereals to chocolate bars. A growing body of evidence points to an association between their consumption and negative health outcomes including obesity, over-eating, depression, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. Countries like Brazil are so concerned they are recommending people avoid UPFs all together. But in some of the world's most developed economies these foods make up, up to 80% of our diets, whilst the public understands very little about them.

Emily Thomas speaks to representatives from the food industry and people at the forefront of the science into UPFs to try to find out whether this is just another dietary buzzword that muddies the waters when it comes to improving the nation’s diets - OR whether it’s something we should ALL be talking about.

(Picture; Cookie talking in chocolate chips, Credit: BBC/Getty)

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Gyorgy Scrinis: Associate professor of Food Politics and Policy, University of Melbourne

Maria Laura Louzada: Assistant professor, Department of Nutrition at the University of Sao Paulo

Kevin Hall: Senior investigator, National Institutes of Health, Maryland

Kate Halliwell: Chief Scientific Officer, Food and Drink Federation, UK

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