For their assessment, they examined the medical records and eating habits of about 100,000 adults. The data also kept track of the patients' consumption of 3,300 different foods.
After analyzing the information, they found that a 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to a 12 percent rise in cancers.
"If confirmed in other populations and settings, these results suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades," the authors wrote.
Despite their results, scientists were not able to definitively say that ultra-processed foods cause cancer. That’s why they are hoping to continue their investigation to confirm their findings on a larger scale.
In the meantime, they are encouraging policymakers to encourage companies to reduce the production of ultra-processed foods.
"Policy actions targeting product reformulation, taxation, and marketing restrictions on ultra-processed products," they wrote, "and promotion of fresh or minimally processed foods may contribute to primary cancer prevention."