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Eur J Cancer Prev. 1999 Jul;8(3):185-91.

Red meat consumption in Australia: intakes, contributions to nutrient intake and associated dietary patterns.

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CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


In the past few decades, increasing concern about the role of diet in the aetiology of diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers, including colon cancer and the hormone-related cancers, has led to a number of studies assessing the role of various food components. Many of these studies, particularly those in the 1970s and 1980s looked at individual foods or nutrients without assessing their role in relation to other dietary components. Thus the role of red meat was often examined in isolation from energy, fat or fibre intake or from consumption of other food groups such as vegetables or fruit. Epidemiological studies of the dietary aetiology of colon cancer have been undertaken in a number of communities with varying meat and dietary intake profiles and with varying results. To provide background information for an assessment of the potential role of red meat consumption in the aetiology of colon cancer in the Australian context, an analysis of current consumption patterns of red meat in the population was undertaken. The results show that red meat consumption, which had been falling since the 1970s, continued to decline in Australia at a time when colon cancer rates were rising. Red meat intake in 1995/6 averaged 88 g a day for men and 45 g a day for women and was contributing less than one-fifth of the dietary fat and saturated fat in the Australian diet. Those with the highest intakes of red meat on the day of the survey had intakes of vegetables and fruits closer to those of non-red meat eaters, with the low-to-moderate red meat consumers having the lower intakes of fruits and vegetables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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