The Impact of Ultra-Processed Foods on Dietary Patterns, Appetite Regulation, and Health Outcomes


Large sectors of the global population rely on ultra-processed foods as a significant source of calories. Ultra-processed foods (UPF) are associated with excess energy intake and increased risk for chronic disease. The underlying biological and pathophysiological mechanisms of the negative impact of ultra-processed foods are under investigation. The role of health professionals is to understand the physical environment and the social and commercial determinants of health that lead to increased intake of ultra-processed foods so that effective recommendations can be made to promote dietary patterns associated with better health outcomes. This session will include the scientific evidence on the health effects of UPFs; inform strategies to promote minimally processed dietary patterns; address cultural, environmental, systemic, and socioeconomic barriers to achieving these goals; and provide insight into what industry is doing and how RDNs/NDTRs can get involved.

Learning Objectives

Evaluate dietary patterns for ultra-processed food intake

Formulate effective strategies to reduce reliance on ultra-processed foods

Analyze the impact that ultra-processed foods have on health

Performance Indicators

4.2 Exercises critical thinking when faced with opportunities and challenges

8.1 Interprets and applies current food and nutrition science in nutrition and dietetics practice

12.1 Advocates for health promotion and disease prevention in communities, in populations and globally


Megan Baumler

Assistant Professor

St. Catherine University

Filippa Juul

Faculty Fellow

New York University School of Global Public Health


Paula Quatromoni

Associate Professor

Boston University

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