A study was carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health and followed the diets of over 120,000 people over a period of up to 28 years. The diets were assessed every four years and marked the development of any heart problems or cancer.
Eating red meat, in particular processed meat is associated with a significantly higher risk of dying prematurely. Each 85 gram daily serving of unprocessed red meat (equivalent to about three thin slices of roast beef) was associated with a 13% increase in death risk during the study period, while one daily serving of processed meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) was associated with a 20% increased risk.
The researchers think that 9.3% of early deaths in men and 7.6% in women in the study could have been prevented if all the participants had consumed fewer than 0.5 servings a day (about 42 gram a day) of red meat.