Red meat increases mortality

People who eat the most red meat and the most processed meat have the highest overall risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The National Cancer Institute study is one of the largest to look at the highly controversial and emotive issue of whether eating meat is indeed bad for health.

Even when other factors were accounted for -- eating fresh fruits and vegetables, smoking, exercise, obesity -- the heaviest meat-eaters were more likely to die over the next 10 years than the people who ate the least amount of meat.

"Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality," Sinha and colleagues wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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