If you think the teenagers in your life have been eating a lot of unhealthy food – you’re probably right.
U.S. adolescents get about two-thirds of their calories from ultra-processed food, and the more they eat, the worse they score on important measures of heart health, a new study says.
Nutritionists started using the term “ultra-processed food” about a decade ago. The study used a diet classification system called NOVA that sums it up as “snacks, drinks, ready meals and many other products created mostly or entirely from substances extracted from foods or derived from food constituents with little if any intact food.”
Experts say not all processed foods are unhealthy. Some can still have nutritional value.
The ultra-processed food category includes chips, cookies, candy, soft drinks and ready-to-heat products such as pizza, instant soup, hot dogs and chicken nuggets. In short – a list of wrappers you might find on the floor of a teenager’s room.