Ultra-processed food


Sir, – Mike Gibney (“Ultra-processed foods: beyond the global hype”, Health + Family, June 19th) celebrates the reduction of fat intake in the Irish diet between 1978 and 2001 while not referencing the increase in obesity over the same period. He cites the Irish food pyramid in support of the consumption of processed cereals, without either reflecting on the evolution of food pyramids nor evaluating the nutritional benefit of any food.

He asks, rhetorically, “who has time to make their own pasta sauces?”, without addressing the Irish Times readership, who, as your many articles on food attest, make their own pasta, let alone the sauces, bake their own bread, make their own ketchup, and, importantly, scavenge broadly in search of nutrition advice.

Prof Gibney has links to at least two global industrial food organisations – and is to be commended for declaring those interests. However, the interests of the globalised processed food industry rarely coincide with optimal nutrition. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.