Published in the International Journal of General Medicine, the study examines the overall health effects of total meat consumption in more than170 countries.
The researchers found that total meat consumption correlates to greater life expectancy, independent of the competing effects of total calories intake, economic affluence, urban advantages and obesity.
"We wanted to look more closely at research that has thrown a negative spotlight on meat consumption in the human diet," said Wenpeng You, study author and University of Adelaide researcher in biomedicine.
"Looking only at correlations of meat consumption with people's health or life expectancy within a particular group, and/or a particular region or country, can lead to complex and misleading conclusions," You said.
The research team broadly analyzed the correlations between meat eating and life expectancy and child mortality at global and regional levels, which minimized the study bias and resulted in a conclusion more representative of the general health effects of meat eating.