Singaporean academics review red meat association with increased Type 2 Diabetes risk

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th June 2013

Eating more red meat over time may be associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study from the National University of Singapore.

An Pan, Ph.D, of the National University of Singapore, and colleagues analysed data from three Harvard group studies and followed up 26,357 men who had participated in a Health Professionals study and 122,786 women who had participated in two Nurses’ Health studies. The participants’ diets were assessed using food frequency questionnaires.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that increasing red meat intake by more than half a serve per day during a four-year period was associated with an elevated risk (48 per cent) of T2DM during the subsequent 4 years in each cohort, while reducing red meat consumption by more than half a serve per day was associated with a 14 per cent lower risk.

The study’s authors said red meat consumption has been consistently linked to an increased risk of T2DM, but previous studies measure red meat consumption at a baseline with limited follow-up information. The authors undertook the current study because they noted that a person’s eating behaviour changes over time and measurement of consumption at a single point in time does not capture that variability.

“Increasing red meat consumption over time is associated with an elevated subsequent risk of T2DM, and the association is partly mediated by body weight. Our results add further evidence that limiting red meat consumption over time confers benefits for T2DM,” the authors of the Singaporean study said.

The authors noted that because the study is observational, causation cannot be inferred.

Study finds link between red meat consumption and type 2 diabetes risk