Link between processed meat and illness sparks calls for integrated policy

The global rise in the red and processed meat trade over the past 30 years has been linked to a sharp increase in diet-related illnesses, finds an analysis published in BMJ Global Health. The most significant impact can be seen in northern and eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Oceania.

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The researchers are now calling for health policies to be integrated with agricultural and trade policies among importing and exporting nations as a matter of urgency to stave off further personal and societal costs.

The top 10 countries with the highest proportion of deaths attributable to red meat consumption in 2018 were The Netherlands, Bahamas, Tonga, Denmark, Antigua and Barbuda, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Croatia and Greece. 

Gut-wrenching statistics for meat consumers
Meat trade in the flagged countries accounted for more than 7% of all deaths attributable to diets high in both red and processed meat.

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