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Eating meat raises risk of all kinds of death
Posted 24 March 2009
National newspapers reported today (Tuesday 24th March) that eating chicken can help reduce the risk of death from cancer and other diseases. However, this is most misleading, as although participants who ate the most white meat had a slightly lower risk for total death, death from cancer and death from causes other than heart disease or cancer, the study did not say whether those who ate the least amount of white meat were consuming more red, which would have increased their total mortality.
The National Cancer Institute study did not compare the risk of death from diet-related diseases between meat eaters and vegetarians and vegans. One of the largest worldwide studies looking at the effects of diet on health (The China Study), indicated a direct link between animal protein intake and cancer - the more animal protein there was in the diet, the higher the risk of certain cancers. The China Study concluded that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease and obesity, as well as some cancers and, therefore, have a lower risk of death from diet-related diseases. The National Cancer Institute team noted that meat (red and white) contains several cancer-causing chemicals, as well as the unhealthiest forms of fat - saturated - which leads to obesity and heart disease. The researchers said that thousands of deaths could be prevented if people simply ate less meat.