Dr Phillip Baker on the rise of ultra-processed foods, research & whereto

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Published Jul 14, 2022, 12:03 PM

With Dr Phil Baker, a great discussion about and update on the surge of research into ultra-processed foods (UPF's), the growing evidence and case for urgent action to address these globalised foods (and systems) that are so damaging to human health and planetary wellbeing. 

Phil and I spoke in 2020 for one of Nourishing Matters scene setting episodes. Since then, COP26 in late '21 has shone the light on the need to urgently redress agricultural land clearing that UPF's help drive, an event subsequent to the UN Food Systems Summit '21, that 'could and should' have also provided opportunity for more direct, discussion and action on UPF's. But were not, so why not? Listen in, the case for change and action is growing... 

And as a consumer, listen through to hear four great tips from Phil to help you better recognise and avoid UPF's: Yup! if products are highly processed, packaged and claim to be healthy, have multiple ingredients you and your grandmother would never recognise and are covered in marketing, watch out! 

Dr. Phillip Baker, is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. He leads national and international research teams and supervises PhD students, to investigate healthy and sustainable food system issues. UPF's are a hot, growing research topic that Phil and many of the PhD students he supervises focus upon.

Recently, Phillip and colleagues edited a special journal issue on the political economy of healthy and sustainable food systems, including many papers relating to ultra-processed foods and the power of the food industry. Phillip also led several recent papers investigating the rise of ultra-processed foods in infant and young child diets, and the strategies used by the baby food industry to undermine breastfeeding, grow their markets and protect against regulation. Forthcoming research investigates the environmental impacts of ultra-processed foods, and how we can use policy, law and regulation to minimise the harms these foods are causing to human and planetary health.

One of the Phil's current PhD students, mentioned in our conversation, is Kim Anastasiou who, with Phil and other colleagues, recently published an excellent article in The Conversation - all about how UPF's are trashing human health and the planet. It provides a great snapshot of the issues: available @ Ultra processed foods are junking our health and the planet

Dr Phillip Baker 

Web: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/phil-baker

Twitter: @PhilBakerNZ

Senior lecturer, food policy & international nutrition @DeakinIPAN #foodsystems #foodpolitics #IYCF #globalhealth #TedX talk: http://bit.ly/37ytfk6

Nourishing MattersInstagram:


Facebook: @nourishingmatterstochewon

Web: https://www.foodswell.org.au

Twitter: @foodswell1

Other important links...

Baker, Phillip, Priscila Machado, Thiago Santos, Katherine Sievert, Kathryn Backholer, Michalis Hadjikakou, Cherie Russell et al. "Ultra‐processed foods and the nutrition transition: Global, regional and national trends, food systems transformations and political economy drivers." Obesity Reviews (2020), pp. 1-22. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343478299_Ultra-processed_foods_and_the_nutrition_transition_Global_regional_and_national_trends_food_systems_transformations_and_political_economy_drivers

Narrative Review Paper:

Elizabeth, L., Machado, P., Zinöcker, M., Baker, P., & Lawrence, M. (2020). Ultra-processed foods and health outcomes: a narrative review. Nutrients12(7), 1955 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32630022/

Conversation article: The Rise of Ultra-Processed Foods and why they’re really bad for our health https://theconversation.com/the-rise-of-ultra-processed-foods-and-why-theyre-really-bad-for-our-health-140537

Rise of Commercial Milk Formulas, the first ultra-processed foods;

Baker, P., Melo, T., Augusto Neves, P., Machado, P., Smith, J., Piwoz, E., ... & McCoy, D. (2020). First‐food systems transformations and the ultra‐processing of infant and young child diets: The determinants, dynamics and consequences of the global rise in commercial milk formula consumption. Maternal & Child Nutrition, e13097.





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