Growing Meat Consumption Increases Cancer Risk

      June 24, 2013 09:43

      People are becoming more susceptible to certain forms of cancer and other diseases in their adult life as a consequence of their increased consumption of meat.

      The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Sunday that Koreans consumed about 44 kg of meat per person on average last year, up 22 percent from 36.8 kg in 2009.

      Pork was the most popular choice with 1.08 million tons consumed nationwide last year, followed by chicken (608,000 tons) and beef (488,000 tons).

      "The more meat consumed, the greater the risk of suffering from colon cancer and other serious diseases in adulthood. As such, people are advised to pursue a more balanced diet," said the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.

      Meat consumption has steadily risen over the past 40 years as per-capital income has shot up in line with the country's rapid economic growth. Back in 1970, when meat was considered a luxury that rarely appeared on the dinner table except for major holidays such as New Year's Day or Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving, people ate just 5.2 kg a year. But that jumped eight-fold to 40.4 kg in 2011.

      The ministry said the growing popularity of dining out has also contributed to greater meat consumption.

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