Ultraprocessed food: Report calls for action to reduce levels in infant and baby foodBMJ 2023; 381 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p1318 (Published 08 June 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1318
- Gareth Iacobucci
- The BMJ
Urgent action is needed to tackle the high number of ultraprocessed baby and infant food products that are endangering children’s health in the UK, a report has warned.1
The report, by the charity First Steps Nutrition Trust, argues that a mixture of “aggressive and misleading marketing” by the baby food industry, a lack of regulation, and outdated public health advice is driving high consumption of ultraprocessed foods. UPFs are defined as being made mostly or entirely from substances that are extracted from foods (oils, fats, sugar, starch, and proteins), derived from food constituents (hydrogenated fats and modified starch), or synthesised in laboratories (flavour enhancers, colours, and additives).
The report analysed UK and European data from almost 3500 food and drink products aimed at infants and toddlers to assess levels of processing. It found that 29% were ultraprocessed, …