Breaking Study Reveals Disturbing Details About Your Teens’ Diets...

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted August 16, 2021

Dear Longevity Insider,

Dr. Anil Bajnath here with your Monday roundup.

When it comes to the basics of healthy living, you guys know where I stand. I practice what I preach. I take my health very seriously.

This is why I:

  • Practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu on a regular basis.
  • Drink large sums of water (including coconut water).
  • Get lots of sunshine and fresh air.
  • I eat organic vegetables and fruits.
  • I get a good night’s rest.

I’ve developed these habits to keep my mind, body, and spirit strong and healthy. But I read very disturbing details in a recent study…

That’s why I’m alerting you. I know that you’re taking great care of yourself. You value longevity, or else you wouldn’t be reading this right now. But what about your children or grandchildren?

According to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, the calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultra-processed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018.

I do my best to avoid processed foods at all costs. I know the risks associated with processed foods:

  • Lacks in nutritional value. Processing can ruin the purpose of real food, which is to give our bodies the nutrients it needs.
  • Digests quicker. Since processed foods are easier to digest, they require less energy. Therefore, many calories go unburned.
  • Sugar, sodium and fat overload. This can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more.
  • Increases cancer risk. Studies like ultra-processed foods with great cancer risk.

Fang Fang Zhang, the senior and corresponding author of the study and a nutrition epidemiologist at the Friedman School adds:

Some whole grain breads and dairy foods are ultra-processed, and they’re healthier than other ultra-processed foods. Processing can keep food fresher longer, allows for food fortification and enrichment, and enhances consumer convenience.

But many ultra-processed foods are less healthy, with more sugar and salt, and less fiber, than unprocessed and minimally processed foods, and the increase in their consumption by children and teenagers is concerning.

If anything may affect our Longevity Insider HQ Family (you and yours!), you better believe we take that to heart.

Keep a close eye on what your younger family members are consuming. Instead of running to a fast-food restaurant, they could always make a quick salad at home.

Meal prep also helps to keep them eating healthy, whole foods that aren't over-processed. When I have a sweet tooth, I like to grab a piece of fruit. I get my "sweet fix" without harming my body.

Remember, the fresher, the better!

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ