For Immediate Release March, 25, 2009
Contacts: Jeannie McStay (410) 366-VEGE
John Cunningham (410) 366-8343

March 25, 2009
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD;

New Study Adds to Concerns About Red Meat and Processed Meat

Red meat and processed meat have been making headlines lately. Several studies have reported that people eating the most red meat or processed meat have the highest risk of cancer of the colon and rectum, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. A new study adds to these concerns. This analysis, conducted by the National Cancer Institute looked at more than 500,000 adults. Those eating the most red meat and processed meat had the highest risk of dying from cancer and heart disease as well as having the highest overall mortality. The researchers estimate that 11% of deaths in men and 16% of deaths in women could be prevented by people decreasing their red meat consumption. For women, a marked decrease in red meat or processed meat consumption was estimated to prevent about 1 in 5 deaths from heart disease. Although news reports have mentioned a reduced risk of death in those eating white meat (fish and poultry) these results are relatively small. We can only wonder what sort of risk reduction would have occurred if study subjects had eaten a whole foods-based vegetarian diet.

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit which educates the public about vegetarian and vegan diets. It publishes Vegetarian Journal, offers two $5,000 college scholarships to high school seniors who have promoted vegetarianism, and sponsors an e-mail list for parents of vegetarians ( For more information, call (410) 366-8343 or visit


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