You can’t eat just one: addictive ultra-processed foods

13th January 2024 by Dr Judith Harvey

You can’t eat just one: addictive ultra-processed foods

Recent research published in the BMJ shows that ultra-processed snacks are addictive. A goldmine for Britain’s powerful food manufacturers, but the consequences – not just obesity with all the attendant risks but tooth decay, low mood and poor concentration – are a disaster for the health of the nation. 

Snacking is nothing new. When I lived in the highlands of PNG the big social event was a ‘pig-kill’. Once the pig had been slaughtered, the first bits to be cut off were the ears. They were given to the children to chew to keep them quiet during the lengthy butchering and cooking in the earth oven along with sweet potato and some greens. A snack, but in a few hours everyone would enjoy the real feast. 

Food used to be an occasion; now it’s a pit stop. The modern ‘grazing’ culture has blurred the line between a snack and a meal. And the notion that you deserve a treat has blurred the line between a snack and an occasional indulgence or reward. Even dogs are now entitled to ‘treats’.

Read more

No credit card details needed – it takes two minutes.

Join free trial


Already a member? Login to view this content.


More from Dr Judith Harvey

"I am a huge fan of LocumDeck and the platform you’ve built is just fantastic. I used it a few years ago and returned to locuming again recently, and the platform has evolved into something even better.

When I came back to locuming, I wasn’t sure how I'd find work, so I decided to turn on Instant Book and see what happened. Within 30 minutes, I was fully booked for the next month, I was delighted!"

Dr Selina Shaw, GP, Buckinghamshire

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans