Red meat consumption linked with rise to deaths by diet-related illnesses, study finds

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An increase in the consumption of foods such as bacon, sausages and burgers has been linked to tens of thousands more fatalities from illnesses including bowel cancer. Health guidelines should be integrated with agricultural and trade policies “as a matter of urgency” to reduce further preventable deaths, say US scientists. The Michigan State University team studied meat production figures from 1993 to 2018 for 154 countries, and calculated deaths attributable to diet.

They found rates of disability and death – also from type 2 diabetes and heart disease – associated with the global meat trade rose in 75 per cent of countries.The diet also has an impact on land and biodiversity. The findings appear in BMJ Global Health.

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