Americans Are Eating Less Red Meat For Many Different Reasons

Health concerns top the list of reasons many gave for consuming less red meat.

With more evidence pointing to environmental factors for the rise in heart disease and many cancers, red meat has been at the center of the debate for quite some time.

“American culture has been a meat-and-potatoes culture for a very long time,” Fabius tells The Salt. “Now we’re in a period of believing that intake of meat should be reduced in this country; we’re talking about a generational transition.”

Among those who are eating less meat, 66 percent said they’re worried about the health effects; 47 percent said cost is a factor, while 30 percent were concerned about animal welfare, and 29 percent have limited their meat intake out of a concern for the environment.

Robert Lawrence, professor of environmental health sciences and director of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, says this is consistent with what he found when he asked people in 2002 why they might eat less meat. “Health concerns still remain the No. 1 reason people might consider cutting back on meat,” says Lawrence, who helped launch the Meatless Monday initiative.

Harvard Study Advises To Limit Red Meat Consumption

Red meat just can’t catch a break.

More evidence is in about the harmful effects of red meat.

Incidence of heart disease and cancer can be linked to consumption of red meat.

It is advised to limit consumption and that limitation should be no more than 2-3 times per week.

Using data from two long-running studies of health professionals, researchers tracked the diets of more than 121,000 middle-aged men and women for up to 28 years. Roughly 20% of the participants died during that period.
On average, each additional serving of red meat the participants ate per day was associated with a 13% higher risk of dying during the study. Processed red meat products — such as hot dogs, bacon, and salami — appeared to be even more dangerous: Each additional daily serving was associated with a 20% higher risk of dying.

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