as healthy as it used to be?
In the 1970s
the UK Royal College of Physicians and British
Cardiac Society recommended eating more
poultry because it had little fat. Similar
recommendations were made in Australia.
In order to meet the rising demand, new
methods of intensive poultry production
were implemented by poultry farmers. This
resulted in quite drastic changes to the
body composition of poultry.
A study conducted by Wang et al from the
Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition,
London Metropolitan University looked at
changes in body composition of poultry.
Meat samples were obtained from several
supermarkets and organic food suppliers
in the United Kingdom. Historical data was
searched from publications and in-house
records in the UK. They reported the following:
poultry intake has
increased more than 25 times during 1950
to 2000 in the UK
the fat calorie content of broiler chicken
has increased to about 4 times greater than
that of protein
chicken now has 100 more calories/100g and
4 fold calorie fat to protein ratio as compared
to 3 decades ago
omega 3 fatty acid (DHA) has decreased and
been replaced by omega 6 fatty acid (linoleic
acid) due to cereal feeds.
UK poultry consumption in 50 years has resulted
in increased fat calories by up to 41 times.
Eating the same weight of chicken today
compared to 30 years ago means you eat 100
more calories and 3-8 times less omega 3
Updated: June 2005