London: Minimising the consumption of red and processed meat would not only lower the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer by three to 12 percent, but also shrink the carbon footprint by 28 million tonnes a year, new research suggests.Previously published evidence shows that the risks of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer rise by 42 percent, 19 percent and 18 percent respectively, with every additional 50 grams of red and processed meat eaten daily.Study co-authors Louise M. Aston, James N. Smith and John W. Powles from the University of Cambridge, Institute of Public Health, used responses to the 2000-2001 British National Diet and Nutrition Survey to estimate red and processed meat intake across the country`s population.They published data from life cycle analyses to quantify average greenhouse gas emissions for 45 different food categories, the British Medical Journal Open reported.They then devised a feasible "counterfactual" alternative, based on a doubling of the proportion of survey respondents who said they were vegetarian - to 4.7 percent of men and 12.3 percent of women - and the remainder adopting the same diet as those in the bottom fifth of red and processed meat consumption, according to a Cambridge statement.
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