Processed Meat and Early Death

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Hot dogs, sausage, ham and other meats may be tasty but eating too much processed meat may cost you years of your life. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that looked at processed meats in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Processed meat may be good but it might not be good for you, according to a study of 450,000 people by Swiss researchers.

Those who ate the most processed meat increased their risk of dying early by 44 percent, the study concluded.

The researchers could only show an association between eating processed meat and an increased risk of dying early, and not a cause-and-effect link. But meats are rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, which could be a link with coronary heart disease. Processed meat is also treated with nitrates to improve durability, color and taste.

The study was published online in the journal BMC Medicine. At the start of the study, none of the participants had had cancer, a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers found that those who ate the most processed meat ate the fewest fruits and vegetables and were more likely to smoke. The researchers recommended people limit their intake of processed meat to less than an ounce a day.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.