Food provides nutrition to look after our bodies and energy to power us through the day. Good food and drink are also woven into the fabric of European culture and are central to our time spent with friends and family.
However, today more than half of the European adult population and a third of children are overweight or obese, while malnutrition remains a major challenge.
We also face major environmental issues including the climate emergency and biodiversity loss.
In the search for effective solutions, the use of ‘ultra-processed food’ terminology, and associated classifications, will hamper EU efforts to improve public health and environmental outcomes.
This paper outlines the limitations of ‘ultra-processed food’ terminology and provides alternative solutions to meet our collective goals.