Ultra-processed food is not just killing us, it’s making us sicker, fatter and more miserable.

A British Medical Journal study examined evidence from 2009 to 2023 and found that eating more ultra-processed food—ostensibly junk food— leads to a 50% increase in cardiovascular death and a 12% jump in Type 2 diabetes. The study also saw anxiety diagnoses increase by 48% and mental health conditions, including depression, by 53%. Less convincing but still highly suggestive evidence linked it to a 21% higher all-cause mortality rate. There were 41% higher risks of poor sleep, 40% more wheezing, and—to no surprise—55% more obesity.

But here’s the silver lining. Studies like this one have found that reducing the amount of ultra-processed food you eat can have substantial health benefits, even in the span of two weeks. Making it a habit can translate to tremendous health benefits long-term.

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Iron Will

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