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Meat makes a meal, so goes the saying. But with more people than ever before ditching meat for plant-based alternatives, it seems meaty dishes are starting to go out of fashion.

An estimated 29% of evening meals contained no meat or fish in 2017, according to UK market research. And the reason for this is often linked to health. Research shows that eating red and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of heart diseasetype 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.

Livestock production is also bad for the environment. It leads to deforestation, pollution of water, and emits greenhouse gases that heat up our planet. This environmental impact also takes a toll on human health – for example, a warmer climate enables malaria-carrying mosquitoes to spread faster and wider.

But despite the rise of lower meat diets, scientists continue to call for more people to reduce their meat consumption, which is essential to meet environmental and climate change targets.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Filippo Bianchi, research student in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. 

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