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Risk to health and life: scientists named the most harmful product

The meat has the most negative impact on the environment and provokes the risk of premature death, according to a study by an Anglo-American group of scientists published in the journal PNAS.

Фото: Depositphotos

A group of scientists from the University of Oxford (UK) and Minnesota (USA) analyzed the impact of 15 different food groups on human health and the environment. Writes about this RIA News. Scientists found that nine of the 15 global risk factors for increasing the incidence of diabetes, digestive cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke are associated with poor nutritional quality.

At the same time, 30 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are agricultural emissions, fields and arable land occupy 40 percent of the land, and 70 percent of the water goes to the needs of farmers. The researchers decided to find out which foods have the worst effect on health and the environment.

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Scientists have introduced the AREI index, which shows the average relative environmental impact of food products per serving for five environmental indicators: greenhouse gas emissions, land area for production, water demand, environmental pollution during production, and other negative environmental factors.

“Foods associated with a significant reduction in mortality risk are associated with low averaged environmental impacts. Whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil - the APEI index is less than four units per serving. Fish associated with a significant increase in mortality risk have AREI 14 per serving. Foods that increase the risk of death more than others have varying degrees of negative environmental impact. The highest AREI for unprocessed red meat is 73 units per serving, processed - 37. High sugar drinks have an environmental impact at AREI 0,95, ”the article says.

As the study clarifies, the average position of harmfulness together with fish is occupied by poultry and dairy products, eggs can worsen human health, like red meat, but they are three times less harmful to the environment.

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Scientists note that the consumption of food harmful to health and the environment is growing rapidly in the world, therefore, in those regions where this trend has recently gained momentum, meat consumption should be reduced and switch to cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish and olive oil, as well as other vegetable oils with a high content of unsaturated fats. These products are less harmful to health and the environment.

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