Red Meat: Diabetes Type 2 Risk Increases by 48 Percent, Study Says

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Jun, 18, 2013, 02:24 PM

An increased risk for type 2 diabetes comes from eating steaks like these on a regular basis, according to a new study. (Photo: REUTERS/
An increased risk for type 2 diabetes comes from eating steaks like these on a regular basis, according to a new study. (Photo: REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler)


People who eat red meat are putting themselves at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Processed or unprocessed, foods like rib eye steaks and hot dogs are equally dangerous. All this comes in the wake of another study that showed a strong relationship between longevity and a vegitarian diet.

"This is stronger evidence that red meat consumption contributes to an increased risk of diabetes," Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard school of Public Health told USA Today

The study, titled "Changes in Red Meat Consumption and Subsequent Risk of Type Diabetes Mellitus," examined data from 150,000 men and women from previous studies and then followed-up with the patients 12 years later with a questionnaire. What the research team found was a compelling link between regular read meat eaters and type 2 diabetes.

"The results indicate that compared with a group with no change in red meat intake, increasing red meat intake of more than 0.50 servings per day was associated with a 48 percent elevated risk in the subsequent four-year period. Reducing red meat consumption by more than 0.50 servings per day from baseline to the first four years of follow-up was associated with a 14 percent lower risk during the subsequent entire follow-up," the researchers said in a press release.

"Our results confirm the robustness of the association between red meat and T2DM and add further evidence that limiting red meat consumption over time confers benefits for T2DM [type two diabetes mellitus] prevention," the researchers added.

Over the 12-year period, 7,540 of the participants were diagnosed with type two diabetes. Researchers found that participants who ate more than half a serving of red met every day since the study started were left with a 48 percent greater risk of developing diabetes.

Previous research has also showed a link between frequent read meat consumption and a higher risk for heart disease, cancer and premature death. 

About 8.3 percent of Americans have diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association, with the majority being Type 2 diabetes patients.  

The team's findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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