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Eating these meats may boost type 2 diabetes risk

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By David Liu PHD

May 21, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study released recently in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that eating certain meats may boost risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The study led by Geertruida J. van Woudenbergh, MSC of Wageningen University in Wageningen, the Netherlands shows that eating red meat and processed meat was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus while eating chicken was not.

The researchers enlisted 4,366 Dutch men and women in the study who were followed up for an average 12.4 years during which 456 incident cases of type 2 diabetes were identified. All participants were surveyed for their intakes of various meats and other risk factors such as age, sex, family history of diabetes. lifestyle and dietary factors.

Specifically, those who ate highest amounts of red meat were 42 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the lowest amount.  Eating the highest amounts of processed meat was correlated with 87 percent increased risk.  But eating poultry was not linked with the type 2 diabetes risk.

The researchers considered body mass index in their analysis and the increase in the risk associated with red meat decreased to 18%.  A health observer who were not part of the study team suggested the adjustment may not be reasonable because BMI should not be considered a cause.

An estimated 24 million Americans live with type 2 diabetes. The health condition can lead to serious consequences.  Unfortunately, doctors have not found a cure for the disease while the disease can be managed by taking insulin medicine for a lifetime.

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