A new and large federal study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that eating large amounts of red and processed meats increases the risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Researchers surveyed more than 545,000 people, ages 50 to 71 years old, on their eating habits, then followed them for 10 years.
This study bolsters other evidence of increased health risks from diets high in red meat including hamburger and processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts.
Over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease.
Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less. High intakes were compared to low intakes of just 5 ounces per week.
The increased risks for eating large quantities of processed meats were slightly lower overall than for red meat.
People whose diets contained more white meat like chicken and fish had lower risks of death.