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A new report which was put forth by the World Economic Forum’s New Frontiers of Nutrition community in conjunction with Accenture says that ultra-processed foods aren’t tastier than healthy options. Instead, the research suggests that preference for ultra-processed foods can be traced back to times when food access was more unstable.
Scientists say that humans are naturally hardwired to prefer calories over fullness. This explains why ultra-processed foods, which are often high in calories but low in nutritional value, are frequently more appealing. This adaptation helped our ancestors survive periods when there was less food available.
However, nowadays ultra-processed foods are readily available. Additionally, they are often more affordable than healthier options. Overconsumption of ultra-processed foods can lead to worrying health consequences. These include a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes.
In light of the information released in the report, the New Frontiers of Nutrition program is working with partners to promote a healthier diet. This diet is high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, healthy fats, and lean protein sources. They aim to make healthy foods such as these more affordable and accessible. This would allow people to make healthier food choices, and reduce consumption of ultra-processed foods.
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