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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 12:13 GMT
Doctor orders red meat for health
Image of meat
Red meat is just what the doctor ordered for good health
A doctor is offering patients a "prescription" to buy cut price lean red meat.

GP Dr John Cannon, from Ixworth near Bury St Edmunds, says he is highlighting the value of red meat in a healthy and balanced diet.

Prescriptions can be dispensed at his local butcher who offers 10% discount.

Dr Cannon wants to persuade healthcare professionals and patients to think about diet and exercise and cut out processed foods.

He recommends lean red meat as part of a balanced diet but is also making sure patients eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as well as having oily fish occasionally and taking plenty of exercise.

It is part of a scheme started by the British Meat Nutrition Education Service which, if successful, will be extended across the country.

Impact of food

The first 50 people to hand in the prescriptions from Dr Cannon will receive 10% off the price of their meat cuts.

Dr Cannon said: "This campaign is a great way of encouraging people to recognise that a good diet is made up of a balance of nutrients from each of the different food groups, including things like lean red meat, which is a fantastic source of iron, protein and vitamins.

"Doctors and other healthcare professionals play an important role in giving patients advice on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and helping them make positive and long-term lifestyle changes."

David Sim, the butcher from Ixworth dispensing the "prescriptions", said the project should lead people to think more carefully about how the food they eat impacts on their health.

"Red meat is such a versatile and nutritious ingredient with as little as 4% fat in lean pork for example," he said.

"This means that lean red meat can be a healthy option for everyone, including those trying to lose weight."


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