Gallery: New Study Reveals Any Amount of Red Meat Increases Your Risk o...


Livestock production is one of the leading contributors to climate change — some studies have shown that it produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars — but have you considered the affect that red meat is having on your body? It has long been known that a diet too rich in red meat can lead to health problems, but now a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health reveals that eating any amount of red meat can increase the chance of premature death. Sounds like it might be time to extend Meatless Mondays to the other six days of the week.

The study, which followed more than 110,000 adults for 28 years, found that those who ate a daily portion of red meat were 13 percent more likely to die during the study period and 14 percent more likely to develop heart disease or cancer. It gets worse: if you add another extra daily serving of red meat to your diet, the risk of premature death jumps to 20 percent. And no red meat is exempt. “Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk,” An Pan, the study’s lead author, told the LA Times.

The Harvard researchers also revealed that replacing red meat with vegetarian options was associated with increased health and longevity. For example, the study found that substituting a serving of nuts for beef or pork led to a 19 percent lower mortality risk. And all meats are not created equal; substituting poultry for red meat was linked to a 14 percent lower risk of dying during the study. Red meat has been linked to several types of cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, so this new study doesn’t come as a great surprise, but the numbers are pretty startling. So for the sake of the planet, and for your own health, ease up on the bacon double cheeseburgers!

+ Archives of Internal Medicine

Via LA Times

Lead photo © Flickr user stu_spivack


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  1. bskott March 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Oh my, there are so many problems with that study, it’s meaningless! it shows a relationship, not cause and effect. You know who was avoiding meat during those 28 years of the study? People who are health conscious and were told meat is bad. Those same people were also much more likely to make healthy choices in other areas besides eating or not eating meat. And the people eating meat either never heard the warning, or don’t put a lot of effort to keep up with the latest BS health findings, thus are more likely to make bad health choices in other areas.

    I can’t believe this kind of junk science comes from Harvard. You wanna do it right? Get a bunch of people and make them live somewhere. Make them eat what you want them to eat, film every minute, track everything. Then maybe you can find some reliable cause and effect.

  2. Levi March 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    This study is not actually anything resembling real science. It’s observational epistemology, that is based on the accuracy of people remembering what they ate 4 years ago. Try to remember EXACTLY what you ate last week, and then claim that you can remember what you are 4 years ago. There was no experiment, no verification, and no facts. There can be, by definition, no conclusions drawn from an analysis of estimated data like this, only theories. As an example it also “showed” that people who ate meat were more likely to smoke. Should I then believe that that means there is nicotine in meat? Just an example of the worthlessness of a study like this.

  3. March 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

    @AllAboutTheJourney: The Journal link provided in the article gives you the full study in exactly one click 😉

  4. nursing4people March 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    The study doesn’t suggest that any amount contributes to health problems. The study suggest that we should not eat red meat everyday. I have not seen a study about people who eat red meat once or twice a week. Great study but your title is inacurate.

  5. mercurydan March 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    too many hormones and anitbiotics that go into cattle and other meats these days. Considering we evolved this way its hard to believe we cant handle it.

  6. FAEEQ MAAZ March 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    wot about poultry meat

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