Going meat free for one week creates a great opportunity to start thinking about how much meat you eat and the impact eating too much meat may have.
With education, awareness and the information to make informed choices, the goal is that for the other 51 weeks of the year meat-eaters will consider portion sizes when including meat as part of a balanced diet.
+ Four out of five Australian adults are not eating enough fruit and vegetables in order to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines. One in two adults (51 per cent) are not eating the recommended intake of fruit, while two out of three adults (66 per cent) are not eating enough vegetables.
+ The British are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Britons eat 258g of fruit and vegetables a day, falling well short of the 400g minimum consumption recommended by the World Health Organisation.
+ Australia is ranked among the top three biggest meat eating countries in the world (per capita), with the average Aussie consuming around 111.5kg of meat annually, almost three times the world average of 41.9kg per person.
+ When it comes to meat, USA has the highest average consumption per person per year, at 120kg. New Zealanders eat 106.4kg, Canadians 94.3kg and Britons 84.2kg, all more than double the world average. The world average is 41.9kg.
+ For those who choose to eat red meat, the World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting the amount to no more than 500 grams cooked red meat per week and suggests consuming very little, if any processed meat.
+ The average Australian now consumes 27.9kg of pork per year, more than double the 11.7kg in 1975. In addition, Aussies eat around 27.9kg of beef per person, per year.
+ The World Health Organisation has classified red meat – including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat – as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
+ Studies show bowel cancer risk increases by 17% per 100g of red meat consumed per day and that bowel cancer risk increases by 18% per 50g of processed meat consumed per day.
+ High consumption of red and processed meat (like bacon, ham and other packaged meat such as turkey and chicken) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
+ Increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants may help reduce the signs and effects of ageing.
+ Eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains can cut your risk of contracting coronary heart disease and strokes.
+ Replacing saturated fat rich foods such as meat with polyunsaturated fats like nuts and seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%.
+ Reducing overall meat consumption can also prevent long-term weight gain.
+ Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season boosts gut health and reduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.