Higher Meat Intake Increases Obesity Risk, Says Report

According to data, obesity prevalence is far higher among meat-eating nations, and lower among countries with low meat consumption
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Countries with the highest meat consumption have higher levels of obesity, says the report (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Countries with the highest meat consumption have higher levels of obesity, says the report (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Countries with meat consumption of more than 45kg of meat per person each year are 12 percent more likely to struggle with obesity than locations with lower meat intake, according to a new report.

The data, published by medical research specialist Antibodies.com, shows that the 14 countries with the highest meat consumption also have a higher average BMI (26.28) and a higher level of obesity (21 percent). 

By contrast, countries consuming 16.3kg of meat per person annually, have an average BMI of 22.9.

Meat and obesity

"The top five countries with the highest levels of annual meat consumption have an average BMI of 27.28, placing them into the overweight or pre-obesity range," said the report.

"In comparison, the five locations with the lowest meat intake fall in the healthy weight range with a BMI of 22.78. 

"The research also shows a 9.16 percent difference between the obesity prevalence of top meat-eating countries and their less carnivorous counterparts, implying that consuming more meat also increases the risk of weight-related complications like high blood pressure and certain types of cancer." 

Obesity prevalence and meat consumption (Photo: Antibodies.com)

Obesity prevalence and meat consumption (Photo: Antibodies.com)

Animal products and obesity

This data linking obesity to meat consumption ties into the conclusion drawn by leading plant-based medic Dr. Neal Barnard, who has previously cited a 2016 study which found that the rate of obesity in the US was higher than ever by the end of 2014, when obesity prevalence stood at 35 percent for men and an all-time high 40 percent for women.

"When it comes to weight problems, sugar-sweetened beverages and other sweets distract from the main culprits fueling obesity: our appetite for meat and cheese," said Dr. Barnard.

"In 2012, Americans collectively consumed 52.2 billion pounds of meat. And every year, the average American individually eats about 270 pounds. Compared to just a century ago, that's nearly 150 more pounds per person each year...In addition to fat, meat and cheese are loaded with cholesterol and packed with calories."

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