Animal Agriculture

Meat consumption a “major public health concern”

A damning report has described meat consumption as a “major public health concern”.

The ‘Meat the Truth’ report unveils how harmful eating meat really is and claims if people knew the facts, they wouldn’t take the risk.

It includes ground-breaking scientific evidence that shows meat offers no health benefits and is linked to Britain’s biggest killers – heart disease and cancer.

The risk of early death increases rapidly even at low intakes of red and processed meat. An 85g serving (a piece of meat the size of a deck of cards) per day increases the risk of early death by 13 per cent. One serving of processed meat (a hot dog or two slices of bacon) increases it by 20 per cent.

Teenage girls who eat a lot of red and processed meat have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. Breast-feeding children of mothers who eat meat have a higher risk of type 1 diabetes… The list goes on and on.

Chicken is not that answer as modern supermarket chickens contain more fat than protein! That includes organic ones too. Men who eat chicken and turkey with skin have a higher risk of prostate cancer but men with prostate cancer, who follow a plant-based diet, have better outcomes in that they can delay treatment for at least two years.

Viva!Health’s claims are supported by the World Health Organisation, World Cancer Research Fund and even Cancer Research UK. Each of these organisations recommend reducing red meat consumption and avoiding processed meat completely. Regardless of the continual evidence that is presented, most people have no idea of the risks.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation, one of the most-respected authorities on health, published a press release stating that processed meat does cause cancer and that red meat probably does too. The meat industry has dismissed previous claims linking meat to cancer as ‘unscientific’ or ‘simplistic’. They are still arguing the toss but must realise that they have lost the argument and are trying to defend the indefensible.

The evidence is indisputable and government public health advice is failing us. Kerry McCarthy MP was right when she suggested that meat-eaters should be given the same type of health advice as smokers.

It’s not all doom and gloom, the number of vegans in Britain had risen by 360 per cent in ten years and the meat-free market is booming! Falling demand combined with a growing awareness of the health consequences of eating meat has got the meat industry on the back foot with The Meat Trades Journal reporting that 75 per cent of those answering a survey concerned that increasing numbers of people will reduce their meat consumption in the future.

Viva!Health Senior Researcher and Writer, Dr Justine Butler, author of the report says: “The meat industry has money and influence, so we are constantly fed mixed messages. However, with pressure from groups like Viva!Health and reports like this, public health guidelines are slowly beginning to change. You don’t have to wait though, read the research for yourself here and make up your own mind!”

Dr Michael Greger, physician and international speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health says: “This report reveals what the meat industry doesn’t tell you. Find out what substances in chicken, beef, pork and lamb are linked to our biggest killers – heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It will leave you in no doubt about the harm meat does and explains why going meat-free is one of the best things you can do if you want to lead a long and healthy life.”

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