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Approved research

Ultra-processed foods consumption and health markers in UK BioBank

Principal Investigator: Dr Anthony Laverty
Approved Research ID: 29239
Approval date: April 27th 2018

Lay summary

Studies in several countries have suggested that high consumption of ultra-processed foods renders nutritionally unbalanced diets which displaces nutrient rich and lower energy density meals. Strong cross-sectional associations have been found between diets rich in ultra-processed food and obesity and many chronic diseases. However, there is a lack of prospective studies which investigate whether ultra-processed foods contribute to the development of adverse health conditions. Therefore, this project aims to investigate the longitudinal associations between ultra-processed food consumption and health outcomes, including overweight and obesity, indicators of cardio-metabolic health, development of cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis, hospital admissions and mortality. Our proposed research is of great clinical and public health significance. Our research will provide important and novel information on how the global food system impacts on the epidemiology of obesity and major chronic diseases in the UK. This research project will generate and disseminate findings that are useful for improving research in regards to the prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases in the UK and globally. Also, it will inform the development of effective public health strategies to improve the nutritional quality of diets at the population level and to reduce the burden of obesity and long-term illnesses. Utilising individuals? 24-hour dietary recall data, we will adopt previously published food classification methods to measure individuals? consumption of ultra-processed foods relative to their total energy intake. We aim to investigate to what extent the consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with excess weight, the development of a range of health conditions including heart disease, cancer and bone disease over time, hospital admissions and mortality. Full cohort of participants who completed one or more 24-hour dietary recall questionnaires.