These “formulations” include (among so many other things) breakfast cereals, instant soup, soft drinks, and frozen meals. Using data from more than 9,000 people who participated in a nationally representative survey, the researchers found that 57.9 percent of people’s calorie intake, on average, came from ultra-processed foods. Minimally processed or unprocessed foods—meat, plants, eggs, pasta, milk—accounted for 29.6 percent. Processed (but not ultra-processed) foods—canned or preserved foods, cheeses—accounted for 9.4 percent. The rest (2.9 percent) was “processed culinary ingredients” such as vegetable oil, table salt, and sugar.
And those foods account for 90 percent of U.S. added sugar intake, new research says.