Healthcare innovation

Awareness of the Link Between the Consumption…

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Awareness of the Link Between the Consumption…


Introduction Cancer is a group of diseases with uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers. Increased intake of animal-source foods, sedentary lifestyle, decreased physical activity, and increased prevalence of excess body weight are independently associated with CRC risk. Additional risk factors include heavy alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and consumption of red or processed meat. Ultra-processed food (UPF) is made utilizing multiple components and a number of procedures. Soft drinks and salty or sugary snacks typically contain a lot of added sugar, fats, and processed carbohydrates, which negatively affect the balance of the gut bacteria, nutrients, and bioactive substances that are necessary for the prevention of CRC. The aim of this study is to assess the awareness of the general population in Saudi Arabia toward the relationship between UPF and CRC. Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in Saudi Arabia between June and December, 2022. Result The study involved 802 participants, of which 84% consumed UPF and 71% were aware of the link between UPF and CRC. Only 18.3% were familiar with the particular type of UPF and only 29.4% knew how to prepare them. The prevalence of participants who were aware of the link between UPF and CRC was significantly more among the older age groups, people living in the Eastern Region, and those who knew how to manufacture UPF, while the prevalence of awareness was significantly less among those who regularly consumed UPF. Conclusion The study showed that a significant portion of subjects regularly ate UPF, and only a few were aware of its link to CRC. This highlights the need for greater awareness of the fundamentals of UPF and its impact on health. Governmental organizations should develop a strategy to raise public awareness of excessive UPF use.

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