Commodity 'spam' linked to rise in diabetes among Indians

Consuming commodity "spam" increases diabetes among American Indians, according to a study being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

As part of the Strong Heart Family Study, researchers asked about 2.000 Indian participants whether they ate government-provided processed meat. Of those who consumed the most amount product, 85 percent developed diabetes, compared to 44 percent of those who ate the least amount.

"The consumption of processed meat, such as spam, but not unprocessed red meat, was associated with higher risk of diabetes in AIs, a rural population at high risk of diabetes and with limited access to healthy foods," researchers wrote in an abstract of the study.

The American Meat Institute, which represents companies that process meat, told Reuters that "processed meats are a safe and nutritious part of a balanced diet."

Get the Story:
"Spam" meat tied to diabetes risk in Native Americans: study (Reuters 1/30)

Get the Study:
Associations of processed meat and unprocessed red meat intake with incident diabetes: the Strong Heart Family Study (Am J Clin Nutr March 2012)

Join the Conversation