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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014 Apr;27 Suppl 2:292-300. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12106. Epub 2013 May 11.

Lean red meat consumption and lipid profiles in adolescent girls.

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  • 1Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.



Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption often fail to distinguish between leaner and fattier or processed cuts of meat. Red meat has also been frequently linked with less healthy diet patterns. Data exploring the health effects of lean red meat in younger individuals are scarce, particularly in the context of a healthy diet. The present study examined the effects of lean red meat in combination with higher intakes of fruit/nonstarchy vegetables on lipid profiles in older adolescent girls.


Data from 1461 girls who were followed for 10 years, starting at 9-10 years of age, in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study were used. Diet was assessed using multiple sets of 3-day records collected over eight examination cycles. Outcome measures included fasting levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C and triglycerides at age 18-20 years.


After adjusting for age, race, socioeconomic status, height, activity level, hours of television per day, and intakes of whole grains and dairy foods using multivariable modelling, girls consuming ≥6 oz lean red meat per week combined with two or more servings of fruit/nonstarchy vegetables per day had LDL-C levels approximately 6-7 mg dL(-1) lower (P < 0.05) than girls with lower intakes of lean red meat and fruit/nonstarchy vegetables. In addition, girls with higher intakes of both were 33% less likely (odds ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval = 0.48-0.94) to have an LDL-C ≥110 mg dL(-1) and 41% less likely (odds ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval = 0.42-0.83) to have an elevated LDL : HDL ratio (≥2.2) at the end of adolescence.


These analyses suggest that lean red meat may be included in a healthy adolescent diet without unfavourable effects on lipid values.

© 2013 The Authors Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics © 2013 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.


adolescence; eating patterns; epidemiology; healthy eating; lipids

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[Available on 2015-04-01]
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