News

    Study: Eating Red Meat Increases Death Risk

    Consuming processed meats presents even greater danger

    A daily serving of unprocessed red meat, such as steak or hamburger, raises the risk of premature death by 13 percent, according to a new Harvard study.
    A daily serving of unprocessed red meat, such as steak or hamburger, raises the risk of premature death by 13 percent, according to a new Harvard study.
    Art Chimes

    Eating red meat increases the risk of premature death, according to a new study, which also finds consuming processed meats presents an even greater risk.

    The study tracked 120,000 Americans for up to 28 years, using data from two huge, ongoing studies of nurses and other health professionals. Their health is monitored and correlated with their living habits - including their diet.

    "So, both processed and unprocessed red meat [were] associated with substantially increased risk of mortality," says Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, the study's senior author. "And clearly the risk associated with processed red meat is much higher than that for unprocessed red meat."

    The researchers concluded that adding one 85-gram serving per day of unprocessed red meat, such as steak or hamburger, raised the risk of premature death by 13 percent.

    Switch to a daily serving of processed meat - just two pieces of bacon or 28 grams of sausage, for example - and the risk goes up 20 percent.

    In particular, eating red meat was linked to higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and from cancer.

    The study also found that substituting other foods for red meat - such as fish, poultry, and whole grains - could substantially cut the risk of premature death.

    Although the study tracked participants for more than two decades in many cases, Hu says the impact of a change in diet can often be seen much sooner.

    "In most situations, dietary factors have immediate and short-term effects on cardiovascular risk factors and type 2 diabetes," Hu said. "So I don't think you have to wait for 20 years for the increased risk to occur."

    The meat industry is taking issue with the findings.  

    Betsy Booren, director of Scientific Affairs for the American Meat Institute Foundation, criticizes the study's methodology, which included asking participants to remember how much meat they ate in the past.

    Booren also points out that eating habits are only one of a number of factors that can affect disease and death.

    "Many chronic diseases - cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer - the main risk factors are not food products," she says. "It's obesity, being overweight, and your genetics."

    Hu's study did include a statistical adjustment for obesity and family history of disease, plus smoking, and found that red meat still contributed to premature death and disease.

    Hu says his study doesn't mean that everyone should become a vegetarian, but that choosing alternative sources of protein may be a good idea.

    "We found that other sources of protein, such as fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and no-fat dairy products can have substantial benefits if they are used to replace red meat."

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora