What's Wrong with Ultra-Processed Foods?

What's Wrong with Ultra-Processed Foods?

Craig Auditorium, the Gateway Building
Trinity College (enter via Tin Alley)

Parkville campus

100 Royal Parade

Further Details

T: (03) 9035 5162


This event is now cancelled.

The science and policy implications of industrial food processing

There are growing concerns over the public health impacts of highly processed foods. Until recently, we have lacked a system for classifying foods by levels and types of processing, which has hindered the generation of scientific evidence and policy that addresses the health impacts of processed foods. With the development of a classification system, many countries around the world are now developing policies to better regulate their production, distribution and marketing.

In this Dean’s Lecture, Professor Carlos Monteiro describes the NOVA classification system, and the concept of ‘ultra-processed foods’ that his team has pioneered, and that has been widely adopted by nutrition and public health experts internationally. Ultra-processed foods are formulations of low-cost food substances, often modified by chemical processes and cosmetic additives, and assembled into ready-to-consume, hyper-palatable, branded, aggressively marketed food and drink products.

Ultra-processed foods make up over 40 per cent of the foods consumed in Australia, and over 50 per cent in some high-income countries. They are rapidly displacing minimally processed and traditional foods and dietary patterns in low and middle income countries.

Professor Monteiro will present scientific evidence linking consumption of ultra-processed foods to a range of detrimental health outcomes across several countries, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. He will also explore the policy implications of this research, including the need to disincentivise the consumption of ultra-processed foods, and promote dietary patterns based on minimally processed and freshly prepared foods.

All Free Public Lectures