Instant Genius is a bite-sized masterclass in podcast form. And in this episode, we're exploring ultra-processed food.

Have you ever struggled to put that packet of biscuits back in the cupboard after opening them? Or found yourself dialling for your favourite takeaway more often than you’d really like to? If so, it sounds like you’ve been under the influence of ultra-processed food (UPF). But what exactly are they and what are they doing to our bodies when we consume them?

In this episode, we speak to Dr Chris van Tulleken, BBC TV presenter and infectious diseases doctor based at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. He tells me about the surprising discoveries he made about UPF when writing his latest book – Ultra-Processed People - Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … And Why Can’t We Stop?

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Jason Goodyer
Jason GoodyerCommissioning editor, BBC Science Focus

Jason is the commissioning editor for BBC Science Focus. He holds an MSc in physics and was named Section Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2019. He has been reporting on science and technology for more than a decade. During this time, he's walked the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, watched Stephen Hawking deliver his Reith Lecture on Black Holes and reported on everything from simulation universes to dancing cockatoos. He looks after the magazine’s and website’s news sections and makes regular appearances on the Instant Genius Podcast.