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Rev Sci Tech. 2018 Apr;37(1):47-55. doi: 10.20506/rst.37.1.2739.

The effects of meat consumption on global health.


in English, French, Spanish

Meat represents an important source of high-quality dietary protein for a large proportion of the global population. In addition, red meat, in particular, significantly contributes to the intake of a wide range of micronutrients, including iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. While these nutrients can be supplied in sufficient amounts by consumption of a range of fruit and vegetables, in many developing countries, where the availability of such foods may be limited, access to meat often protects against malnutrition and improves child cognitive development. Excessive consumption of meat and meat products is often associated with overconsumption of energy and fat, resulting in excess weight, obesity and an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition, certain components of fresh and processed red meat may further increase the risk of these diseases and predispose the consumer to cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. In the face of population growth and global warming, there is increasing concern about the sustainability of farm animal production. Thus, while a modest intake of meat represents an important strategy to avoid essential nutrient deficiencies, limiting its intake can reduce the development of a range of chronic diseases and could have significant beneficial effects on global food security.


Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes; Environment; Health; Malnutrition; Meat

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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