Intended for healthcare professionals


No need to cut red meat, say new guidelines

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 01 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5809
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Adults should continue their current consumption of red meat and processed meat, say the recommendations of an international panel published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.1

The guideline—a striking departure from most existing recommendations—is based on the findings of four other papers published in the same issue, which review existing studies in the field to assess the risk of various cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes, incidence, and mortality.2345

A fifth paper provides a meta-analysis of studies examining people’s attitudes to meat and their resistance to dietary change.6 It concludes that “omnivores are attached to meat and are unwilling to change this behaviour when faced with potentially undesirable health effects.”

The findings are at odds with most other analyses, even those relying on the same data, largely …

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