Cheap red meat helps to kill off Glasgow's poorest men 30 years early


**The city of Glasgow has long been notorious for the astonishing gap in life expectancy between rich and poor. Men who can expect to die at the age of just 54 live within a few miles of those who will survive well into their 80s.

Now researchers believe they have found a key reason for this disparity – the regular consumption of cheap, processed meat, particularly by the city’s poorest men.**

The article continues at the link.


While I am not advocating people eat red meat 7 nights a week, I found the article to be unconvincing. Consuming processed red meat on a regular basis can cause a person to die 30 years early? Ten maybe, but 30?

Maybe these men also live near a refinery or are alcoholics or drug addicts?

There needs to be more information available on the complete study of why these men are dying so early.


Oh, I agree that thirty years is a shockingly long time. The study is titled “Accelerated ageing and renal dysfunction links lower socioeconomic status and dietary phosphate intake”, and the abstract is easy to find on any search engine. The article sums it up well, I think.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of it either, though. I have the same questions you have.


The article never says what additives are causing this or how one might avoid it. They talk about “cheap” red meat (as opposed, I guess to more expensive red meat) as being the culprit. Are we talking about highly processed stuff here, like some kind of sausages or products like Spam? Or are we talking about a steak that didn’t cost as much as a really good one?

I have a feeling this isn’t just a matter of phosphate levels. There is some reason why the phosphate levels are high. Is it used as a preservative for long shelf life? What? But what else is in the meat and other foods?

But blue collar people just don’t tend to live as long as white collar people, on average. Lots of reasons for that, one of which is probably different exposure to all kinds of toxic things. The difficulty of their job functions is likely another. Get sore every day and take Iburprofen, it’ll ruin your kidneys eventually. Take Tylenol a lot and you’ll destroy your liver. Medical care is probably another. And yes, probably if one eats things that are full of additives, it’s probably harder on the system than eating things that aren’t.

I know this. Fully grass-fed beef has the same amount of 'good" cholesterol as fish does, and it doesn’t have mercury and other toxins in it like fish so often does. But grass-fed is expensive because the processing and marketing systems aren’t set up for it.


Processed meat is not the same as “red meat.” It rarely is 100% meat. And being Glasgow, what did the men eat with the meat? I’d be willing to bet that would include a lot of battered & fried stuff. And what about tobacco & alcohol?

Teasing out one food item from a diet & saying it is the culprit for disease or early death is incredibly difficult.


Sad to see the large life span discrepancy. Hopefully a sensible answer can be found to help the situation. I’m not of the opinion that blaming red meat is the cause. Many potential factors could play a part in the life expectancy difference. I’ve seen studies finding meat eaters live as long as vegetarians. Others disagree naturally.

It wouldn’t surprise me though if wealthier individuals were healthier. There could be a number of difference reasons to explain that. Its just an observation on my part, but I’ve noticed in my family and with friends, the healthiest tend to be the highest educated, and tend to do well with earnings. Ones with diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stomach IBD diseases, autoimmune conditions, etc tend to do the worst with making a living.

I thought this an interesting article from a Scottish doctor on type 2 diabetes. Those with diabetes tend to live shorter lives, up to a decade shorter. Over the last few years a number of studies have come out showing the current way of treatments for type 2 diabetes could be wrong. Lowering blood sugars with medications isn’t preventing diabetes complications such as blindness, limb amputations, nerve damage, cancers, heart disease, etc. The doctor explains the studies, and speculates the wrong hormone is being manipulated. Low blood sugar might be causing the damage, resulting in to shorter life spans. His article on the studies and theory on low blood sugar can be read here:

“Turning diabetes upside down”


Dr. Kendrick is great! He mostly writes about heart disease, which is helpful for me as husband had heart bypass surgery 16 years ago.

I’m a T2 diabetic & I get really irked at the the advice of the ADA. Most nutritionists will tell diabetics to eat a minimum of 45g carbs at every meal. I’m sure they are assuming that all diabetics are on meds. I’m not (my body doesn’t like the meds I can afford) so I don’t even eat 45g in a day. And I’m doing quite well, thank you! :smiley:


Sounds like this is “Global Warming all over again”. The almost gone POTUS has made prices rise just like closing down coal production, people out of work, so ending “cheap” red meat by making it expensive should fix the problem! :rolleyes:


No-one is twisting their arms, they could eat rice and beans and be vegetarian.

Matter of choice imo.


A matter of education. It’s hard to make the right choices if you don’t know what they are.


I found the conculsion inappropriate, to confirm the root cause is poverty.

Bad diet is a habit that is easily corrected with education. It would cost no more money to reduce pop and red meat, substituting water, eggs, beans, soy, and milk products.


Well over here in New Zealand, all our beef is grass-fed. Free-range! It’s the cheapest way for us to produce beef.
Import our meat!::smiley:


Actually soy is bad for the thyroid.


No, it’s not bad for your thyroid. The only risk is if you already have thyroid issues and are taking medicine, in that situation it may interfere with your GI tract absorbing the medicine.


Glasgow is a strange city in as much as there are areas blighted by drugs, unemployment, poverty etc. alongside areas which are wealthy and see little of any type of social problems. Some of these are only seperated by a couple of streets or a park. In Catholic terms they may even be in the same Parish. The area probably referred to is the parliamentry constituence of Shettleston in the east end of the city. The life expectancy here is something like 57 for males, a statistic skewed by the large number of young males that die from drug overdoses and linked problems. Studies have linked poverty and poor diet so that is where the reference to processed red meat (not so much cheaper cuts but cheap burgers that have been shown a photo of a cow). comes from. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know from first hand experience that this has become a gererational problem with people from the poorer areas having much lower expectations for their children in educational and social aspirational terms than when I was young. (My old man worked ‘doon the pit’ (a coalminer) and wanted better for his children, so he reckoned that the only way out was through education. These days apathy seems to have replaced that type of ambition.


Even the most expensive red meat will kill off a person years before his or her time.


Um…no. Good or poor health is more than just one food. My husband (a heart surgery & cancer survivor) will be 81 next month. He’s a meat & veggie eater (pretty much quit grains a couple years ago), still works part time, is building me a barn almost single-handed, and has energy to spare. Don’t think the meat’s going to kill him. :smiley:


It is very expensive to follow a strict vegan food regimen. Obtaining the food can involve travel and time. Discipline to eat enough is also needed. Total vegan is a social status identifier fed by a self superiority.


Well, she’s not all wrong Bonnie, you do have to watch red meat consumption or at least you should. Once every four days at most was the recommended consumption.

But I think the article sort of removes free choice and suggests these souls are forced to succumb to a deadly diet. I just don’t think by large its true. People by large become accustomed to a particular diet and often struggle with denial it may eventually kill them, and thats aside from the age issue which makes activity a further possible problem. Perhaps we all to some degree do this with various food items to some degree.

But the knowledge is out here and its much harder to actualize as age becomes a factor. I mean I see this here and with friends, family etc.

He’s a meat & veggie eater (pretty much quit grains a couple years ago), still works part time, is building me a barn almost single-handed, and has energy to spare. Don’t think the meat’s going to kill him.

Amen, :thumbsup:


Recent research has shown pure low-carb meat and veggie diets to be perfectly safe.

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