The results of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that with the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet increasing by 10% the number of cancers detected jumps up by 12%.
However, the study does not offer a definitive take on ultra-processed foods and cancer, and cannot say whether one causes the other.
Prof. Tom Sanders at King's College London (not to be confused with Colonel Sanders) for instance, questions the very definition of ultra-processed foods. "This classification seems arbitrary and based on the premise that food produced industrially has a different nutritional and chemical composition from that produced in the home or by artisans. This is not the case," he said.
Even the accompanying commentary in the British Medical Journal warns against jumping to conclusions, stressing the study was simply "an initial insight".