People eat food that comes from animals as well as food that comes from trees and other growing things. People sometimes eat the animal-food without doing much else to it, but sometimes they like to turn it into other things first before eating it. They do this because the food feels nicer in their mouth, or because the food keeps longer, or because it lets them turn bits of the animal into food which may have had to be thrown away instead.
A study of nearly half a hundred-hundred-hundred people* has found that people who eat a lot of animal food which has been turned into other things have a higher chance of dying at a younger age, of getting problems with the parts of their bodies that move blood around the body, and of small parts of their bodies going out of control and growing very fast when they shouldn’t do.
The study, called EPIC, looked at 448,568 people from France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Greece, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark for a mean of 13 years. It showed that people who eat a lot of animal-food that had been turned into other things first had a higher chance of smoking, of being too heavy, and act in other ways that would give them a lower chance of living for a long time. However, the people who ran the study took away the changes that these other ways that people act from the made to the numbers and found that eating a lot of animal-food which had been turned into other things first would still give a person more chance of dying at a younger age and have lots of problems with their body.
One person from every 17 – 26,344 – died during the study. People who usually ate a lot of animal-food-turned-into-other-stuff every day had around a 44% higher chance of death in the mean time of 12.7 years for which they were studied, than people who usually ate much less animal-food-turned-into-other-stuff every day. The animal-food was not as important at causing an earlier death as smoking was, but was still important enough for Prof Sabine Rohrmann, from the University of Zurich, to say that people should lower how much animal-food-turned-into-other-stuff they ate. They say that if everyone had eaten much less animal-food-turned-into-other-things, then around 3.3% of the deaths they saw would not have happened.
The important people who decide things for the UK already say that people shouldn’t eat too much animal-food-turned-into-other-things. Animal-food that has not been turned into other things is quite good for helping people to live longer lives.
The way in which animal-food is turned into other things is important. If it is simply broken down into small bits and then put back together again then it won’t be too much of a problem. However, if it has other things added to it to make it last for a longer time, then that is a problem.
Other studies have found that eating too much animal-food-turned-into-other-things could cause the bits of lower part of your body which deals with food to begin to grow without any control. This is a very bad thing which scares a lot of people.
*Most normal people think it is a very good thing to let them read the actual study which the story looks at. However, people at the BBC for some reason do not like doing this every time. Instead, they like naming only the book in which the study is from. It is very annoying. Even the Guardian let people easily read the actual study.