Organic Consumers Association
It likely comes as no surprise that eating a diet filled with ultraprocessed foods is unhealthy. Research has demonstrated ultraprocessed foods can increase your caloric intake and weight gain.1,2
Data3 gathered from 2009 to 2010 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed ultraprocessed foods made up 57.9% of the energy intake of Americans and sugar contributed 89.7% of the energy intake.
By 2019, a study published in the journal Nutrients4 found 71% of packaged products in the grocery store were ultraprocessed. Researchers from Northwestern Medicine estimated nearly 80% of the total calories consumed by Americans is from store-bought food and beverages.5
The researchers also compared the food supply in the U.S. against other western countries like Australia, finding packaged foods Americans were eating had higher median amounts of sugar and salt. These foods contribute to the rising level of obesity across the world.