A recent study has purportedly linked processed red meat consumption to metabolic syndrome (MetS), which includes health factors such as abdominal obesity and elevated triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, or fasting glucose, or reduced HDL cholesterol. N. Babio, et al., “Association between red meat consumption and metabolic syndrome in a Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk: Cross-sectional and 1-year follow-up assessment,” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, September 26, 2010. Researchers evidently conducted cross-sectional analyses on a Mediterranean population at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, evaluating “a 137-item validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and lipid profile” at baseline and after one year.  

The study authors reported that among these individuals, “higher [red meat] consumption is associated with a significantly higher prevalence and incidence of MetS and central obesity.” According to the researchers, the study is “the first that prospectively demonstrates a higher-incidence of MetS in those subjects consuming higher amounts of red meat. This is relevant because this condition has been considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.