Friday, November 15, 2013

Increasing Red Meat Consumption Increases Risk For Type 2 Diabetes In 3 Large Cohorts

Following the theme of yesterday's post, Large Prospective Study Supports Link Between Meat Consumption And Diabetes, below is a study from this summer which found that increasing the amount of red meat eaten - by just a half serving or a few ounces a day - increases the risk for type 2 diabetes:

Changes in Red Meat Consumption and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Three Cohorts of US Men and Women, JAMA Internal Medicine, July 2013

Researchers followed 149,143 participants of 3 Harvard-based prospective cohorts - the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study II. After adjustment (for age, family history, race, marital status, initial red meat consumption, smoking status, physical activity, alcohol intake, total energy intake, and diet quality), they found that:
"Increasing red meat intake during a 4-year interval was associated with an elevated risk of [type 2 diabetes] during the subsequent 4 years in each cohort."

"Increasing red meat intake of more than 0.50 servings per day was associated with a 48% elevated risk [of type 2 diabetes] in the subsequent 4-year period.

"Reducing red meat consumption by more than 0.50 servings per day from baseline to the first 4 years of follow-up was associated with a 14% lower risk during the subsequent entire follow-up."
They concluded:
"Our results confirm the robustness of the association between red meat and [type 2 diabetes] and add further evidence that limiting red meat consumption over time confers benefits for [type 2 diabetes] prevention."
People change their eating behavior over time. Studies that measure food intake at one point in time, usually at baseline or the beginning of a study, fail to account for these changes. In these 3 cohorts, diet was updated every 4 years.