Ultra-processed foods are killing us – they are the smoking of 1950s… no wonder our kids are manic, E-numbered fatties

MORE young people than ever are developing cancer, with cases rising twice as fast among the under-50s as in the elderly.

Long after smoking became an activity non-grata, and we learnt that 10,000 steps a day instead of sitting on our fat a**es all day long was a good thing, why are we dying younger and quicker than ever?

More young people than ever are developing cancer, with cases rising twice as fast among the under-50s as in the elderly

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More young people than ever are developing cancer, with cases rising twice as fast among the under-50s as in the elderlyCredit: Getty
Back in the 50s puffing away was heavily glamourised, it was seen as cheap, legal and socially acceptable

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Back in the 50s puffing away was heavily glamourised, it was seen as cheap, legal and socially acceptableCredit: Getty

I’m putting it out there: Ultra-processed foods are killing us.

Maybe a lawsuit from Kellogg’s/McVities/Mars is incoming — because unless you cram turkey twizzlers down a baby’s throat from birth, locked in a lab cage like a beagle — there’s no real hard and fast science behind the claims.

We just know that shovelling processed crap, filled with additives, down that hatch isn’t how we are programmed to eat.

The figures, published by Cancer Research UK, show cancer rates among Britons aged 25 to 50 have increased by 24 per cent since the Nineties.

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Rising rates in bowel cancer are especially worrying.

Experts blame the “major change in Western diets over the past 30 to 40 years”, such as sweeteners in UPFs.

And, of course, sugar and fat-laden UPFs are linked to obesity, another major, stand-alone cause of cancer.

Breakfast cereals, sweets, packaged meats, flavoured yoghurts, crisps, sliced white bread: They’re polishing us off quicker than we can polish them off. Which, like a Pringle, is pretty quick.

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These foods are the smoking of 1950s. Back then, puffing away was heavily glamourised. It was seen as cheap, legal and socially acceptable.

Today, the same applies to UPFs which are also dirt-cheap, legal, socially acceptable — think about all the Hollywood product placement and drinks companies sponsoring our biggest TV shows — and they’re similarly addictive.

Ultra-processed foods linked to ‘higher risk of early death’ says nutrition expert

Controversial BOGOF deals, which Boris Johnson toyed with axing before realising it wouldn’t be a vote winner in a cost-of-living crisis, only fuel the pandemic. For that is what this is.

Dr Chris van Tulleken’s best-selling book, Ultra-Processed People, should become mandatory reading in schools.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins and her Labour counterpart Wes Streeting should be using it as a guidebook.

But they’re probably not.

Our largest food charity, the British Nutrition Foundation, which says it “exists to give people, educators and organis­ations access to reliable information on nutrition”, is funded by almost every food company you can think of, including Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestle and PepsiCo.

Last year the British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating Week was sponsored by . . . Coca-Cola.

Ignore the sweet talk

For years, McDonald’s sponsored the Olympics.

Scientific studies are regularly funded by these companies — no guessing how the findings are muddled as a result.

At present, 60 per cent of our daily calories come from UPFs. That’s a disgrace.

Policy makers need to listen to the science and ignore the sweet talk of the UPF big dogs.

There can be no conflict of interest when it comes to the nation’s health.

 Labels on food must more prominently display fat, calories, sugar and salt and breakfast cereals, marketed for kids, shouldn’t come adorned with fluffy cartoon characters.

 Fruit Loops, for example — which have Toucan Sam as their official, multi-coloured mascot — contain 25 per cent sugar.

No wonder our kids are a bunch of manic, E-numbered fatties.

In the words of Dr Chris: “The financial influence exerted by UPF-makers on science stinks as badly as an old pub ashtray. For the sake of the nation’s healthy, it just needs to stop.”

lNEW stats show there are 16,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed every year. So why are we still being taxed VAT on sunscreen?

Australia and several states in the US are exempt from SPF tax. We should be too.

Charley lights up golf

Brit golf pro Charley Hull has gone viral after casually lighting up a crafty fag on the course mid-way through the US Women’s Open

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Brit golf pro Charley Hull has gone viral after casually lighting up a crafty fag on the course mid-way through the US Women’s OpenCredit: Getty

CHARLEY HULL is my kind of woman.

The British golf pro has gone viral after casually lighting up a crafty fag on the course mid-way through the US Women’s Open.

Stopping to sign autographs for fans, cigarette dangling, she has apparently taken up smoking to, er, stop vaping.

In an increasingly pious sporting world, especially women’s, Charley is a breath of fresh air.

Albeit not literally.

Risque gig? Of coarse

News that a 'fan' is suing Madonna for subjecting audiences to 'pornography without warning' is slightly bemusing

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News that a ‘fan’ is suing Madonna for subjecting audiences to ‘pornography without warning’ is slightly bemusingCredit: Splash

MADONNA penned a book called Sex, heavily featuring her genitalia, and simulated masturbation on stage.

In other words, she is not Westlife. She doesn’t sit cross-legged on a stool in a Tweed skirt and nice blouse and gently pelt out the words to 4 Minutes.

She’s about as unLike A Virgin as is possible.

So news that a “fan” is suing the superstar – plus Live Nation and four Californian concert venues – for subjecting audiences to “pornography without warning” is slightly bemusing.

The lawsuit, filed by a chap called Justen Lipeles, states: “Imagine taking your 11-year-old sister to a pop concert when, in the middle of the concert, the women on stage remove their tops and are completely topless.

“They then begin to out act sexual situations including cunnilingus and digital penetration* among other pornographic type situations.”

The real question is why anyone in their right mind would take a child to a Madonna gig in the first place.

*Not a sentence I ever envisaged writing in this column, but hey.


Kay Burley has admitted 'sliding into' Vladimir Putin’s DMs on Instagram after the Russian dictator 'liked' one of her posts

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Kay Burley has admitted ‘sliding into’ Vladimir Putin’s DMs on Instagram after the Russian dictator ‘liked’ one of her posts

KAY BURLEY might do well to stick to Tinder going forwards.

The Sky News doyenne admits to “sliding into” Vladimir Putin’s DMs on Instagram after the Russian dictator “liked” one of her posts.

Not v Richard Curtis, but whatever floats your boat, Kay.

[Ok, Ok, she was trying to land an interview but still.]


Rhino Rob a champ to all

Rob Burrow has tragically lost his battle with incurable motor neurone disease

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Rob Burrow has tragically lost his battle with incurable motor neurone diseaseCredit: Rex

THE tragic death of Rob Burrow is heartbreaking. What a man, and what a legacy.

Most of us, given an effective death sentence aged 37, as he was, with devastating, incurable motor neurone disease, would retreat, spending our last months with friends and family. Not the ex-Leeds Rhino. He gave himself to us all.

Rob’s stoicism and bravery inspired a nation, even those unfamiliar with his sporting endeavours.

Doubling his life expectancy – from two years to four – he went on to raise millions for charity, increasing crucial awareness for MND.

A posthumous honour at Sports’ Personality of the Year surely awaits, and with the building of an MND centre in his name, his memory lives on.

In Rob’s own words, first the disease “comes for your voice. Then it takes your legs. It tries to rob you of your breath. But it can’t sap your spirit”.

Certainly in the case of Rob Burrow, it never did.


Being hacked twice in one go is a worrying sign of things to come in our tech-heavy world

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Being hacked twice in one go is a worrying sign of things to come in our tech-heavy worldCredit: Getty

LAST week I got hacked. The little b******s had a jolly ol’ time on my Amex, leisurely splurging on an array of iPhones and iPads on my Amazon account.

A call centre in India rang, pertaining to be from Amazon’s Fraud Detection Squad.

Obviously wary, nonetheless I did as instructed and logged on to my account to check that someone, not me, had indeed enjoyed a spending spree on my credit card.

The nice man told me not to worry, he’d sort it and cancel all transactions. He then recited my correct home address and asked if the r ubber ear plugs were mine.

(What sort of master criminal goes on a £5,000 spending spree, rounding off with “six silicone ear plugs for sleeping” priced £4.99? A little fraudulent digestif, perhaps).

The by now less-nice man, with lots of suspicious noises and passing trains behind him, vehemently insisted I didn’t change my password as it was “unnecessary”.

When I eventually hung up, realising I was being done all over again, he frantically started calling back on loop, becoming increasingly more aggressive.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience, and is, I suspect, a worrying sign of things to come in our tech-heavy world.


Man up, Beeb

Kemi Badenoch has vowed to define 'sex' as biological in the eyes of the law - our national broadcaster appears to have no such design for change

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Kemi Badenoch has vowed to define ‘sex’ as biological in the eyes of the law – our national broadcaster appears to have no such design for changeCredit: AFP

WISELY, Kemi Badenoch has vowed to define “sex” as biological in the eyes of the law should the Tories win the General Election.

Our national broadcaster appears to have no such design for change.

Last week, Radio 2’s news bulletin referred to the surge in cases of “people with prostate cancer”.

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Don’t know about you, ladies, but my prostate’s been giving me gyp for weeks, now.

Sigh.