This research by Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, shows that eating junk food kills stomach bacteria which protect against obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and autism.
Spector has found that diets with just a few highly processed ingredients are so toxic to these bacteria that hundreds of species can be wiped out in just a few meals. He believes that this explains, amongst other things, why some people put on weight and others do not, even though they eat a broadly similar balance of carbohydrate, protein, fat and sugar.
Spector says: “Fifteen thousand years ago our ancestors regularly ingested around 150 ingredients in a week. “Most people nowadays consume fewer than 20 separate food types and many, if not most, are artificially refined. “Most processed food products come, depressingly, from just four ingredients: corn, soy, wheat or meat”.