Does Eating Red Meat Increase Risk of Death?

Dr. Richard Besser discusses a major new study about red meat.
2:33 | 03/13/12

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Transcript for Does Eating Red Meat Increase Risk of Death?
Major new study about red meat. The Harvard School of Public Health saying there is a dramatically increase risk of death from eating as little as one extra serving of red meat per day. Let's bring in our medical editor doctor Richard -- to talk about this -- with the headline here with. Well you know Robin we've known that there's a -- a connection between eating red meat and heart disease eating red meat and certain types of cancer. Here they looked at eating red meat in your risk of having an early death and what -- -- -- pretty stunning for every additional serving of red meat you have per day. Your risk of dying early during the course of the study goes up by 12%. -- that's huge 12%. That there -- some good news here because they're also saying small changes could have a big impact that's right your way whenever -- see -- -- like this it's like well what what do you do about it. But they look to see what happens when you substitute one of those portions of red meat. For healthier protein and what they found was it for every time you do that substitution with something like fish poultry nuts grains. You risk of that early death goes down by 19% so there is something -- Consider not only saying stay away from involve a lot of red meat but they're saying if -- do take these substitutions that you're gonna it matters and matters yeah. The meat industry of course not happy with this and they set -- -- but the study is flawed. And uses are reliable -- so what's your take on this and how much red meat should we be. Well you know you always have to be careful with something called an observational study it's not like they told half the people eat red -- and half the people not to -- -- -- What they did was they followed a 120000. Health professionals for twenty years he gave them a food questionnaire every four years and -- found over the course that study. 24000 people died. They checked to make sure -- they took -- account differences in smoking obesity family history. And this is about as good as this kind of steady if he is so I'm very comfortable with this study. Might take -- from this -- everything in moderation you can eat red -- I wouldn't -- more than two servings per week. And when we're talking servings in this study asserted was three -- so that's about the size of a deck of cards it's not what you normally get a restaurant what most people sure there. Pink slime before you go because that's been getting oh oh -- -- is a lot and right processed meat. Mix with ammonia that we are seeing in supermarkets more and more so that's -- You know -- the industry calls did it -- -- of lean process the process beef. Bottom line FDA says it's safe industry says it's made from from from real beef. My take is I want and -- in there so I have the choice as to whether -- Kyra thanks a lot ring connect.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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