Meat consumption and cooking practices and the risk of colorectal cancer

S. M. Tabatabaei, L. Fritschi, M. W. Knuiman, T. Boyle, B. J. Iacopetta, C. Platell, J. S. Heyworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Objectives: The association between meat consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been controversial. One of the difficulties in determining this association has been measurement of different attributes of meat consumption, including cooking methods and level of doneness. Subjects/Methods: We investigated the association between meat consumption and cooking practices and the risk of CRC in a population-based case-control study in the Western Australian Bowel Health Study. From July 2005 to February 2007, 567 incident CRC cases and 713 controls, who were frequency matched to cases for age- and sex, completed questionnaires on lifestyle and meat consumption. Estimated odds ratios (ORs) comparing meat consumption quartile groups were obtained from multivariate logistic regression models. Results: The amount of red baked meat consumed had a statistically significant inverse trend of association with CRC (Q4 OR=0.73 95% confidence interval 0.53-1.01). When frequency was multiplied by serving size and by doneness, the association remained protective but was no longer statistically significant. The protective trends for red pan-fried meat were also borderline statistically significant. There were no other statistically significant or meaningful associations with any of the types of meat cooked by any method and the risk of CRC. Conclusions: Our data do not support the hypothesis that meat consumption is a risk factor for CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Meat
  • case-control
  • colorectal cancer
  • cooking methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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