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Lean red meat consumption and lipid profiles in adolescent girls

Authors

  • M. L. Bradlee,

    1. Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
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  • M. R. Singer,

    1. Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
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  • L. L. Moore

    Corresponding author
    1. Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
    • Correspondence

      L. L. Moore, Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 801 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 470, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

      Tel.: +1 617 638 8088

      Fax: +1 617 638 8076

      E-mail: llmoore@bu.edu

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Abstract

Background

Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption often fail to distinguish between leaner and fattier or processed cuts of meat. Red meat has also been frequently linked with less healthy diet patterns. Data exploring the health effects of lean red meat in younger individuals are scarce, particularly in the context of a healthy diet. The present study examined the effects of lean red meat in combination with higher intakes of fruit/nonstarchy vegetables on lipid profiles in older adolescent girls.

Methods

Data from 1461 girls who were followed for 10 years, starting at 9–10 years of age, in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study were used. Diet was assessed using multiple sets of 3-day records collected over eight examination cycles. Outcome measures included fasting levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C and triglycerides at age 18–20 years.

Results

After adjusting for age, race, socioeconomic status, height, activity level, hours of television per day, and intakes of whole grains and dairy foods using multivariable modelling, girls consuming ≥6 oz lean red meat per week combined with two or more servings of fruit/nonstarchy vegetables per day had LDL-C levels approximately 6–7 mg dL−1 lower (< 0.05) than girls with lower intakes of lean red meat and fruit/nonstarchy vegetables. In addition, girls with higher intakes of both were 33% less likely (odds ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval = 0.48–0.94) to have an LDL-C ≥110 mg dL−1 and 41% less likely (odds ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval = 0.42–0.83) to have an elevated LDL : HDL ratio (≥2.2) at the end of adolescence.

Conclusions

These analyses suggest that lean red meat may be included in a healthy adolescent diet without unfavourable effects on lipid values.

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