Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Chicken: The key to a longer life?

Eating chicken may be a recipe for longer life, according to new research on the health effects of meat consumption.

Scientists found that eating white meat slightly reduced the overall risk of dying or being killed by cancer.

In contrast, consuming too much red or processed meat produced a “modest” increase in death risk from all causes. It also increased the risk of dying specifically from heart disease or cancer.

The study, one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken, was conducted among more than half a million people in the US.

Participants in the National Institutes of Health — AARP Diet and Health Study ranged in age from 50 to 71 when the investigation began in 1995.

A questionnaire was used to estimate their intake of white, red and processed meat. They were then monitored for 10 years, during which time 47,976 men and 23,276 women died.

Scientists found the one fifth of men and women who ate the most red meat were more likely to die during the study period than the fifth who ate the least. This was true for overall deaths from any cause.

The same pattern was seen for people eating the most and least amounts of processed meat.

Meanwhile, higher amounts of white meat consumption were associated with a slightly lower overall risk of death or death from cancer.

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