Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Tied to Upper Digestive Tract Cancers

Increased body fat only explained a small proportion of the association
Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods Tied to Upper Digestive Tract Cancers
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Higher ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption is associated with a greater risk for head and neck cancer (HNC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC), according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Fernanda Morales-Berstein, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated the role of adiposity in the associations between UPF consumption and HNC and OAC. The analysis included 450,111 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.

The researchers found that during a mean follow-up of 14.13 years, a 10 percent g/day higher consumption of UPFs was associated with an increased risk for HNC (hazard ratio, 1.23) and OAC (hazard ratio, 1.24). Five percent of the association with HNC was mediated by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), while body mass index mediated 13 percent and WHR mediated 15 percent of the association between the consumption of UPFs and OAC risk. There was a positive association seen between UPF consumption and accidental death in the negative control analysis.

"Focusing solely on weight loss treatment, such as semaglutide, is unlikely to greatly contribute to the prevention of upper-aerodigestive tract cancers related to eating UPFs," Morales-Berstein said in a statement.

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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