Thursday 7th March 2013
Foods such as cheap ham, bacon, sausages and other processed meats could increase the risk of an earlier death, a new study of half a million people across Europe has suggested.
The findings published in the journal BMC Medicine, suggest that processed meats were linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Researchers behind the study claim the salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat were one of the main causes behind the potentially damaging impact to health.
People from across ten European countries were featured in the report, and were followed for an average of 13 years.
They found that those whose diet was high in processed meats were also more likely to be obese and indulge in other unhealthy activities such as smoking.
But even when the extra factors were removed from consideration, researchers found that processed meat had a damaging impact on people's health.
Of all the people in the survey, one in 17 died, with those eating over 160g of processed meat a day, 44 per cent more likely to die over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g.
Written by Megan Smith
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