Total, red and processed meat consumption and human health: an umbrella review of observational studies

Giuseppe Grosso, Sandro La Vignera, Rosita A. Condorelli, Justyna Godos, Stefano Marventano, Maria Tieri, Francesca Ghelfi, Lucilla Titta, Alessandra Lafranconi, Angelo Gambera, Elena Alonzo, Salvatore Sciacca, Silvio Buscemi, Sumantra Ray, Daniele Del Rio, Fabio Galvano

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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Meat consumption has represented an important evolutionary step for humans. However, modern patterns of consumption, including excess intake, type of meat and cooking method have been the focus of attention as a potential cause of rise in non-communicable diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between total, red and processed meat with health outcomes and to assess the level of evidence by performing a systematic search of meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies. Convincing evidence of the association between increased risk of (i) colorectal adenoma, lung cancer, CHD and stroke, (ii) colorectal adenoma, ovarian, prostate, renal and stomach cancers, CHD and stroke and (iii) colon and bladder cancer was found for excess intake of total, red and processed meat, respectively. Possible negative associations with other health outcomes have been reported. Excess meat consumption may be detrimental to health, with a major impact on cardiometabolic and cancer risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date15 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Total meat
  • red meat
  • processed meat
  • processed foods
  • meta-analysis
  • umbrella review
  • evidence
  • non-communicable diseases
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • coronary heart disease
  • colorectal cancer


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