Poor nutritional choices, including a high intake of ultra-processed foods and trans fats, are putting millions of Europeans at an increased risk for a range of chronic digestive diseases, including digestive cancers, wheat-related disorders and functional gastrointestinal disorders, as well as obesity, a new report shows.
The Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases report, launched by United European Gastroenterology and supported by 11 medical associations, patient organisations and non-governmental organisations, canvassed the opinion of a number of leading experts in the fields of nutrition, digestive cancers, liver diseases, functional gastrointestinal disorders and paediatrics.
Experts say they are particularly concerned about the increasing consumption of ultra-processed food, which is linked with an increased risk of cancer and obesity.
The report makes a number of recommendations in order to reduce the risk and impact of chronic digestive diseases, including limiting the consumption and production of unhealthy foods.
"If we are to fight the burgeoning prevalence of overweight, obese and unhealthy people in Europe, and the healthcare burden and loss of life that it brings, then we must act now", said Professor Markus Peck from Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria.
"We need the European Commission and national governments to act now on initiatives to change the way in which we buy and consume food."