New Study Links Processed Meat To Early Death

New Study Links Processed Meat To Early DeathSausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths.

‘Opting for leaner cuts’

The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health. The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat.

The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.


‘Less healthy lifestyle’

One in every 17 people followed in the study died. However, those eating more than 160g of processed meat a day – roughly two sausages and a slice of bacon – were 44% more likely to die over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g. In total, nearly 10,000 people died from cancer and 5,500 from heart problems.

Prof Sabine Rohrmann, from the University of Zurich, told the BBC: “High meat consumption, especially processed meat, is associated with a less healthy lifestyle. But after adjusting for smoking, obesity and other confounders we think there is a risk of eating processed meat. Stopping smoking is more important than cutting meat, but I would recommend people reduce their meat intake.”

She said if everyone in the study consumed no more than 20g of processed meat a day then 3% of the premature deaths could have been prevented. The UK government recommends eating no more than 70g of red or processed meat – two slices of bacon – a day.

Do you eat a lot of processed meat everyday? Are you planning on cutting back?

Source: BBC News

Image: Science Daily

Can People Be Fat Yet Fit?

People can be obese yet physically healthy and fit and at no greater risk of heart disease or cancer than normal weight people, say researchers. The key is being “metabolically fit”, meaning no high blood pressure, cholesterol or raised blood sugar, and exercising, according to experts.

Looking at data from over 43,000 US people they found that being overweight per se did not pose a big health risk. The results are published in the European Heart Journal.

In the study at the University of South Carolina, more than a third of the participants were obese. Of these 18,500, half were assessed as metabolically healthy after a physical examination and lab tests. This subset of metabolically healthy obese people who did not suffer from conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, were generally fitter and exercised more than the other obese people. And their risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer was identical to people of ideal weight and was half that of “metabolically less fit” obese people.


Lead researcher Dr Francisco Ortega, who currently works at the University of Granada in Spain, said the findings show that getting more exercise can keep you healthier, even if you still carry a bit of extra weight.

Amy Thompson, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “In the majority of cases, obesity is an undeniable risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. However, these studies remind us that it is not always your weight that’s important, but where you carry fat and also how it affects your health and fitness.. It is particularly important to be aware of your weight if you are carrying excess fat around your middle…”

Do you believe that you can be fat yet fit? How do you personally maintain a metabolically fit body? Share your health regimen with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: Independent