In this study, red meat consumption was 76 ± 77.6 g/d, nearly equal to the national mean which is 81 g/d.[14
] Meat products intake in our study was 18.9 ± 35.9 g/d. Azadbakht and Esmaillzade reported that red meat intake in Tehranian women teachers were 45.9/day.[15
] In Irish adults, the mean intakes of red meat and processed meat were 51 and 26 g/d, respectively.[2
] Gore et al
. reported beef intake in British adults was less than that in our study, and meat products intakes were more than those in our results.[7
] Cosgrove et al
. in a similar study stated that men consumed all meat types significantly more than women. Meat products consumption in our study was more in the <30 groups age.[2
] Gore et al
. showed that there was a striking age gradient in the percentage that ate burgers and kebabs, from 45% of those aged 16-24 to only 13% of those aged 50-64.[16
] Eastwood reported meat consumption in Europe as being relatively stable during the last decade, despite critical attitudes toward meat[17
] while Richardson et al
. found only doubtful empirical evidence for the reduction in meat consumption claimed by consumers.[18
] A national food survey in the UK indicates that beef and veal consumption fell from an average of 175 g per day in 1990 to 145 g per day in 1997.[19
] In our study, red meat (beef, lamb, veal) consumption was 76 g/day, which is lower than that of the UK,[19
] but more than that in the Ireland.[2
The My Pyramid Food Guidance System suggests that meat and beans intake to be 5.5 oz per day.[20
] However, our results showed that participants’ intake of red meat and meat products were more than 3 oz per day. If we have to consider intake of chicken, fish, nuts and legumes, they will be certainly consumed very high than suggested guidelines.
Our unpublished data showed that fish consumption in Khorramabad people was low. There is evidence for the role of n-3 fatty acids in insulin resistance and diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent glucose intolerance and have anti-inflammatory properties.[21
] In another study, we showed that consumption of vegetables and legumes was lower in people suffering from hypertrigliceridemia than in normal people.[13
] Azadbakht and colleagues showed that higher red meat consumption is associated with a greater risk of the metabolic syndrome.[7
] In other studies, higher red meat consumption has been considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cancer.[6
] The French National Cancer Institute recommends to limit intake of red meat to less than 500 g per week.[5
] However, red meat consumption in our study was more than this amount. It has been shown that the diets having less meat such as the DASH diet can play an important role in reducing inflammation, plasma levels of fibrinogen and have anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-inflammation properties.[21
Since consumption of meat and meat products may create health concerns for people, as the results of this study showed it is suggested that people consume less red meat and more fish here and elsewhere.
In our study there was a significant linear relationship between the income and red meat consumption. Results from other studies confirmed our result.[23
] Yen et al
. showed that men consumed meat and fish more than women, and meat consumption had a relationship with age, religion and ethnicity.[27
] Verbeke and Viaene indicated that the future of fresh meat consumption will be determined by the ability of the beef and pork sector to produce, deliver and guarantee products that are intrinsically safe, and moreover perceived as such by consumers.[9
In our study, participants’ viewpoints toward causes of red meat consumption were delectability and palatability, accessibility, cultural, traditional beliefs, lack of food diversity in Lorestan province, hospitality, convenience. While radio and television programs, food safety, and cost-effectiveness had less effects on red meat consumption. Morgan et al
. showed that food safety of meat is more important than the price.[28
] Steptoe et al
. showed significant relationships between the sex, age, income, and food choice.[1
] In a study consisting of a series of focus groups and conjoint analyses conducted in four countries (France, Germany, Spain and the UK), the most important quality aspects of beef were good taste, tender, juicy, fresh, lean, healthy, and nutritious.[29
] Among the most important factors influencing the changes in consumers’ demand for meat and meat products in the USA are increased health concerns, change in demography characteristics, the need for convenience, and increased eating away from home, change in distribution, and change in relative prices.[30
] Holm and Møhl found that critical attitudes about the following four themes were the manner in which meat is produced and processed in modern agriculture and industry, the fact that meat is derived from animals, the food culture associated with meat eating and the perceived unhealthiness of meat. They suggested that negative attitudes toward meat were not necessarily associated with decreases in meat consumption, but were associated with a tendency to re-structure meals with special reference to the role assigned to meat.[31
It was found that people raised topics concerning meat more frequently than any other food, and that their comments on meat were often expressed with more emotion than comments of any other food.[31
Meat production and offers processes in our country are different from western countries. In Lorestan province, red meat is produced by traditional or semi industrial methods and is offered in butcheries. However, in western countries, meat is usually sold in supermarkets and less traditional outlets as self serves and are packaged for convenience to the consumer.[30
] These factors may affect tendency to red meat consumption.
Our study had some limitations. The data were based on self reports by participants, in which biases may exist. Furthermore, the sample size was low and a larger sample size is necessary for more accurate findings.
In conclusion, red meat and processed meat consumption among participants was high. Since consumption of meat and meat products may create health concern for people, it is necessary for policymakers to adopt effective strategies to advocate the use of fish and poultry. More studies are necessary in the area.