Dr. Chris van Tulleken

Chris’ Talk

Are You Addicted to Ultra Processed Food.. And Can You Quit?

Ultra-Processed Food (UPF) has a long, formal scientific definition, but it can be boiled down to this: if it’s wrapped in plastic and has at least one ingredient that you wouldn’t find in your kitchen, it’s almost certainly a UPF.

UPF’s now make up a staggering 60% of the average diet in the UK and USA and each of us ingesting 8kg of food additives per year. They are now the leading cause of early death globally and the number one cause of environmental destruction.

Award-winning broadcaster, practicing NHS doctor and leading academic Chris van Tulleken marshals the latest evidence to reveal what UPF is really doing to our bodies and the planet. Chris explores the invention of UPF and its impact on our health and weight – from altering metabolism and appetite, to an increased risk of serious health problems like cardiovascular disease and dementia.

He shows that almost all our staple foods are ultra-processed – bread, cereal, biscuits, desserts, dairy products and condiments; explains why exercise and willpower cannot prevent obesity and ill health due to UPF; and provides solutions for individuals, policy makers and the food industry.


A Big Food Whistleblower

Chris van Tulleken has a medical degree from Oxford and a PhD in molecular virology from UCL. He is a practicing infectious diseases doctor in the NHS and an associate professor at University College London, where his research focuses on how corporations affect human health, especially in the context of nutrition.

He works closely with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation on infant nutrition. As one of the UK’s leading science broadcasters, Chris has won two BAFTAs for his long-running CBBC series Operation Ouch, co-presented with his twin brother Xand. Following his BBC One documentary ‘What Are We Feeding Our Kids?’ and the chart-topping podcast ‘A Thorough Examination – Addicted to Food’, Chris has become the UK’s go-to expert on ultra processed foods.

Chris’ 2023 book, Ultra-Processed People, became the no 1 Sunday Times bestseller with recommendations coming from the FT, Daily Mail, Guardian & New York Times among many others.

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