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Report fuels confusion over red meat and cancer

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 14 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:797
  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    Diet may have a significant impact on some of the cancers most common in Britain. This is the conclusion reached by the latest report from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA). Renewed confusion over the recommended consumption of red meat, however, threatens to subsume the overall message of The Nutritional Aspects of the Development of Cancer.

    The report recommends an intake of fruits and vegetables of five or more servings a day—50% above the current British average. It also recommends increasing intake of dietary fibre and maintaining body mass index at 20­25 during adult life.

    The report also warns against the use of high doses of purified supplements and micronutrients—ß carotene in particular—as a means of protecting against cancer. These, it says, cannot be assumed to …

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