Speed Reading — Ultra-processed Food - Level 6 — 500 wpm

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Further light has been shed on the possible dangers of eating ultra-processed food. A new study has revealed that consuming food such as sausages, frozen pizza, ready-to-eat meals, sodas and cakes can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease or an earlier death. Ultra-processed food includes products made in factories from ingredients that are largely or entirely made in a laboratory. They are added with things like preservatives, flavour enhancers, colourings, sugar and fats. The research was conducted on over 200,000 people in the USA over a 28-year period. Researcher Dr Fang Fang Zhang said men who ate a lot of ultra-processed food had a 29 per cent higher risk of developing bowel cancer.

Ultra-processed foods make up a growing proportion of the food we eat. The WHO says they account for around two-thirds of calories in the diets of American children and teenagers. Dr Zhang said children who ate ultra-processed food gained weight more quickly than those who ate a more nutritious and well balanced diet. She said: "Americans consume a large percentage of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods." She gave advice on how people can look after their bodies better through their diets. She said: "We should consider substituting ultra-processed foods with unprocessed or minimally processed foods in our diet for cancer prevention and for the prevention of obesity and cardiovascular diseases."

Comprehension questions
  1. What has been shed on the dangers of ultra-processed food?
  2. What kind of pizza constitutes ultra-processed food?
  3. Where are most of the ingredients in ultra-processed food from?
  4. How many people were part of the research?
  5. Who had a higher risk of developing bowel cancer?
  6. How much of the calories of U.S. teens are from ultra-processed food?
  7. What do children who eat ultra-processed food gain?
  8. What did a doctor say we needed to look after?
  9. What should we eat less of besides ultra-processed food?
  10. What conditions did a doctor say we should prevent besides obesity?

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