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Hands Off Those Chicken Nuggets: ‘Ultra-Processed’ Foods Linked to Higher Cancer Risk

February 15, 2018, 12:29 PM UTC

Turns out there’s more than one good reason to avoid that soda or bag of chips.

According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, “ultra-processed” foods are associated with an increased risk of cancer.

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Foods that fall under this category usually have additives, flavorings, and preservatives, and are high in sugar, fat, and salt. Besides chips and soda, the study counts among ‘ultra-processed’ foods mass-produced packaged breads and buns, chocolate bars and sweets, chicken nuggets, instant noodles, and ready-made meals.

Among the subjects of the study, those who ate 10% more ultra-processed foods had a 12% increased likelihood of developing some form of cancer.

The finding is especially worrisome since processed foods were found to comprise up to 50% of the average person’s diet in many developed countries.

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While some health experts noted that the study isn’t conclusive, it is widely accepted that a person’s diet can affect the risk of cancer. They therefore urge people to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.