A new study released by University of Washington School of Medicine researchers has bad news for fans of spam.
Foxnews.com posted a Rueters Health story reporting that Native Americans who ate the processed meat were two times as likely to develop diabetes.
Two thousand Native Americans from several states and tribes were a part of the study. None had diabetes when it began.
After five years, a follow-up survey found that 243 people had developed diabetes.
Among the 500 people in the original study group who ate the most canned processed meat, 85 developed diabetes. In contrast, among the 500 people who ate the least amount of “spam,” just 44 developed the disease.
Though Spam is a brand-name pork product, the lower-case term is also used to describe any kind of processed, canned meat, Fretts said. Canned meat is available freely to many Native Americans on reservations as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food assistance program.
However, a nutritionist from Harvard said his research found a link to higher diabetes risk from consumption of certain unprocessed meats as well.
“I think what this study indicates is processed meats should be a priority for reduction (in the diet), especially among American Indians where they can go to food assistance programs and they can get discounted spam,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who was not involved in the study.