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‘Warning: ultra-processed’—A call for warnings on foods that aren’t really foods

The health harms of ultra-processed foods are well documented, but consumers are not informed or warned about these risks. Government action and public education should articulate that diets high in ultra-processed foods are harmful, and policies should aim to reduce that harm. Introducing warnings as part of existing or new front-of-package nutrient labels on food packages would specifically identify ultra-processed foods and give consumers important information at the point of purchase. Vital Strategies’ research brief, “Public Perceptions of Ultra-Processed Products,” shows why such warnings are needed.