Should your granola bar come with a warning label?

Concern is rising about the amount of ultra-processed foods in American diets, and the effect eating so many of those foods has on our health. Part of the problem, nutrition researchers say, is that lots of healthy-seeming items—many breakfast cereals, soups and yogurts as well as granola—fall into that category. Recent studies have linked diets high in ultra-processed foods to increased risks of obesityType 2 diabetescancercardiovascular disease and depression

Yet there is no set definition of what makes a food ultra-processed, and scientists are still figuring out exactly why eating a lot of these foods is associated with health problems.

These foods are coming under a microscope as the U.S. government prepares the latest version of its dietary guidelines, which tell Americans which types of foods to eat and how much. For the first time, the government is asking its scientific advisory committee to consider how diets consisting of varying amounts of ultra-processed foods influence body composition and obesity risk.

Food companies dispute the idea […]

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