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Majority of consumers will not cut down on red meat despite cancer claims

The majority of consumers feel they eat the right amount of red meat and do not need to cut back, despite warnings too much can cause cancer.


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Since 2010 UK adults have been advised to keep their daily red meat consumption to an average of 70g
Since 2010 UK adults have been advised to keep their daily red meat consumption to an average of 70g

Research commissioned by AHDB found 55 per cent felt they eat a healthy portion of red meat and 24 per cent said they were not concerned about the amount they consumed.


Six per cent said they did not eat enough red meat and would try to eat more, while eight per cent felt they had too much and would try to eat less.

 

Encouraging


Laura Ryan, strategy director for AHDB Beef and Lamb, said: “Our research is encouraging in that the majority of people are content with the amount of red meat they are eating.


“It’s important to remember there are a number of long-term changes in lifestyle and purchase habits that have continued to influence the way in which consumers buy and eat meat.


“These include the growth in one to two person households and the continued drive for convenience, which our cuts development work continues to address with initiatives such as the mini roast.”

 

Cancer claims


Last year red and processed meat came under attack when a study by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said there was enough evidence to rank processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens because of a causal link with bowel cancer.


The report added red meats were ‘probably carcinogenic’ but there was limited evidence.


Ms Ryan added: “Red meat consumption is often an easy target for critics, unfairly citing negative impacts on health as a reason for falling consumption. Unfortunately, the positive role red meat plays in a healthy, balanced diet is often overlooked.


“Beef and lamb are naturally rich in protein, low in sodium and provide essential vitamins and minerals, contributing towards good health and wellbeing.”


Since 2010 UK adults have been advised to keep their daily red meat consumption to an average of 70g.

 


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More statistics from the AHDB Consumer Tracker, conducted by YouGov

  • 73 per cent of consumers bought their fresh meat pre-packed
  • 53 per cent bought their meat from a meat/butchers’ counter
  • Despite price being a key influence in purchasing for the majority of consumers, 63 per cent said they would be willing to pay extra for better quality meat
  • Over half of respondents said meat with a quality assurance mark was worth paying more for
  • Consumers also knew red meat provided a good source of iron
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