NCBA Statement on WCRF/AICR Report on Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer
DENVER - "The WCRF/AICR recommendations about red meat and cancer are unsubstantiated and offer bad advice for consumers. There are volumes of research about the benefits of red meat in a healthy diet that far outweigh anything we’ve seen today.
There is no evidence red meat causes cancer, according to a recent “Assessment of Red Meat and Cancer” by independent scientists. The comprehensive review evaluated every available epidemiological study on red meat and six types of cancer and concluded there was no causal link. How the WCRF review could come to a different conclusion is perplexing.
At a time when Americans are overfed and undernourished, the report’s recommendations are especially disturbing as they are based on weak and inconsistent data.
Lean beef can be an important part of the solution to the nation’s weight problem because the protein in lean beef helps control appetite and build muscle mass, which is essential to maintaining a healthy weight.
Beef is the number one source of protein in the diet, which is a fundamental building block to muscle development. In addition, the other nutrients in lean beef – such as iron, zinc and B-vitamins – play a critical role in health by preventing anemia, promoting cognitive function, and building a healthy immune system.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as long-standing recommendations from leading health organizations, continue to recommend lean, nutrient-rich meat as part of a healthy lifestyle. Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommend adults eat 5.5 ounces of lean protein each day, and, on average, Americans are consuming 2.3 ounces of red meat each day which is well within these guidelines.
When considering cancer risk, it’s important to look at what the science actually says: don’t smoke, use alcohol responsibly, be physically active, maintain a healthy weight and follow a diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy products and lean meats.
As a mother and a dietitian, I can tell you there is simply nothing in this report that should change how people enjoy nutrient-rich beef as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”