Nearly 80% of the food we see in supermarkets is ultra-processed, which has generated a great public health problem as a risk factor for various diseases.
How is our diet? What we consume is a disease risk factor? The prevalence of overweight in Spain is 40 percent and that of obesity is 22 percent, becoming a global epidemic of which there are hardly any solutions at the state level.
It is a public health problem since it is a risk factor for chronic cardiovascular diseases and much of the problem has to do with food. The current diet is based on processed and ultra-processed foods whose consumption only increases.
What is ultra-processed food? The classification of foods is carried out based on the processing they have received so that products such as industrial pastries, snacks, energy drinks, packaged sausages, frozen foods such as nuggets or pizzas are considered as ultra-processed because they contain high levels of saturated fat, sugar, and salt.
Composed of additives and preservatives
These foods do not contain fresh products but are composed of pure additives and preservatives, as well as elements to add flavor. They are really harmful to health, but there is still no social awareness that alarms this problem considering that they are a risk factor for chronic and cardiovascular diseases.
Today, most people consume more foods based on fats, free sugars, and salt than fruits or vegetables. The WHO Health Assembly last year approved a General Work Program for the reduction of salt intake and the suppression of trans fats from industrial production aimed at promoting well-being and health in the population. Is this roadmap really fulfilled?
Most foods are ultra-processed in the supermarket
A study carried out in New Zealand determined that of the food available in the country’s supermarkets, 80 percent are ultra-processed. A similar trend occurs in most European countries, including Spain. In addition, the publicity we receive constantly transforms our eating behavior towards a poor diet with low nutrients.
If the consumption of ultra-processed has triggered which “epidemic” and directly affects our morbidity and mortality, what can we do? How to detect them? Many of these products are ready to heat and most of the packaged foods we see in the supermarket are usually ultra-processed. We can also detect them when reading their labels because they usually contain many ingredients.
The moment in which the ultra-processed ones become the base of your diet is when there is a serious danger of health. By displacing the consumption of fresh or cooked food at home, the diet is based on sugars, fat, and salt that promotes diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.
Therefore, citizenship education is really necessary to raise awareness and raise public awareness of the global epidemic of this type of food. Because, in addition, they are foods with empty calories that do not provide our body with the necessary nutrients to maintain the energy we need.