It has more to do with reducing your chances of getting cancer than it does with making your love handles smaller.
Under new British Department of Health guidelines that are about to be issued, the Scientific Committee on Nutrition has cautioned grown-ups not to eat more than 17.5 ounces of red meat each week. That's a bit more than four Quarter Pounders. They warn that consumers who eat red meat in excess are at risk of developing cancer later in their lives.
AOL News checked with several government and academic diet and nutrition websites, and most reported that the average American and Canadian ate 100 to 150 hamburgers a year, which is pretty much in line with what the English are about to report. And, of course, that doesn't include steaks, roast beef and all the other sorts of red meat and pork.
The report is going to recommend that those who eat more than 5 ounces of meat a day should cut back to about 3 ounces daily, and that includes breakfast meats.
Next week's release is a follow-up to a draft report released 18 months ago. That research concluded that cutting the consumption of red and processed meat -- and they included pork, beef, lamb and goat -- could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Last year, England's top medical officer told reporters that a 30 percent reduction in eating meat could save more than 18,500 lives a year, according to the .
The Scientific Committee on Nutrition, a group of independent government advisers, was asked by the British health department to review and add its own recommendations to the 2009 draft.
What may drive devoted dieters over the edge is that earlier this month there was a lot of attention on a meat study conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation. It reported that most adults ate "healthy amounts" of red meat and that a link to cancer was "inconclusive" at best.
The swirl of conflicting meat studies has been going on for years, with several linking eating too much meat with not only cancer but also a number of other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. However, other research has warned that not eating enough meat can cause iron deficiency, especially in women.
Andrew Schneider also writes occasionally for thefoodwatchdog.com.