A global rise in the import and export of red and processed meat is linked to an increase in diet-related diseases and deaths, according to a study in BMJ Global Health. Researchers compared the trade of 20 red or processed meat products, including beef, goat meat, bacon, and ham, with diet-related disease rates across 154 countries. Increased intake of red and processed meats, aligned with increases in trade, resulted in increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, and other noncommunicable diseases. These rates were twice as high in developing countries, particularly in the Caribbean and Oceana and Northern and Eastern Europe, due to a sharp increased reliance on meat imports since the early 1990s. Future interventions should integrate trade, agricultural, and health policies to mitigate the impact of meat consumption on public health.
Chung MG, Li Y, Liu J. Global red and processed meat trade and non-communicable diseases. BMJ Global Health. 2021;6(11):e006394. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2021-006394