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’70 percent of supermarket range is heavily processed food’

’70 percent of supermarket range is heavily processed food’

From examination of the voedselwaakhond foodwatch shows that a large part of the sold food in supermarkets consists of so-called ultra-processed foods, heavily processed fabrieksvoedsel.

That makes foodwatch Wednesday known. They selected the largest three supermarkets (Jumbo, Lidl and Albert Heijn) with a random sample of 651 food products.

These were classified into four categories, which indicate to what extent the products processed are: fresh unprocessed or lightly processed food (such as fresh vegetables and eggs), processed ingredients (oil, salt), processed food (cheese and bread) and highly processed foods (cereals, chips, soda).

459 of the investigated products showed up to the last-mentioned category. That is 70.5 percent. 16 percent is fresh raw, or lightly edited. 3 percent belongs to the category “edit ingredient”, and 10 percent fall under the heading of “processed food”.

Sugar, fat, salt

In the heavily processed fabrieksvoedsel, also known under the name ultra-processed foods, often high in sugar, fat and salt. From the foodwatch research shows that 76 percent of this food sugar is added. To 60 percent of the fabrieksvoedsel salt is added, and 93 per cent contains sugar and/or salt.

Besides a large amount of sugar, fat and salt this category of food is often low in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Fabriekseten is therefore often associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and various forms of cancer.

Far-reaching consequences

“Unhealthy ultra-processed foods dominate the supermarktschappen, with far-reaching consequences for health”, reads the reaction of the voedselwaakhond. “So, in the Netherlands there weekly to 1200 new patients with type 2 diabetes (diabetes).”

“This shows the need of an active food policy of the government. Consider, for example, a lower load on fresh fruit and vegetables compared to junk food, legal measures against kindermarketing of junk food and coercive measures against misleading labels.”

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