NEW YORK, USA, April 28, 2009: A new ten-year study of over 500,000 Americans--men and women aged 50 to 71--has provided the best evidence yet that eating large amounts of red meat damages our health and shortens our lives. The results of the study, which was directed by Rashmi Sinha, a nutritional epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, were published in the March 23 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.
Other things being equal, participants who consumed the most red and processed meat were likely to die sooner than those who consumed much smaller amounts of these foods. Even after carefully controlling for the wide variety of additional unhealthful habits common among heavy meat-eaters, the increase in mortality risk associated with higher levels of meat consumption ranged from about 20 percent to nearly 40 percent. Particularly impressive were the differing rates of our two leading killers, heart disease and cancer. The results of this study mirror those of several other recent studies that have linked a high-meat diet to life-threatening health problems.
Meat consumption also causes great damage to our planet, increasing environmental pollution, global warming and the depletion of potable water. According to Dr. Popkin, livestock production in the United States "accounts for 55 percent of the erosion process, 37 percent of pesticides applied, 50 percent of antibiotics consumed, and a third of total discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus to surface water."