Red Meat Increases Mortality Risk

March 24, 2009
Well…sort of.

Many of you have emailed me asking for some clarity on this new 'study' recently published called Meat Intake and Mortality.

First, this study is an observational study. Observational studies (really surveys) by their very nature can only suggest an association. They absolutely do not prove cause and effect. There are so many other confounding variables that were left unchecked you might as well use this study for your new puppy's poop.

From the study:

"The inherent limitations of measurement error in this
study are similar to those of any nutritional epidemiological
study that is based on recall of usual intake over a
given period. We attempted to reduce measurement error
by adjusting our models for reported energy intake.
15 The correlations for red meat consumption assessed
from the food frequency questionnaire compared
with two 24-hour recall diaries were 0.62 for men and
0.70 for women, as reported previously by Schatzkin et
al.7 The problem of residual confounding may still exist
and could explain the relatively small associations found
throughout this study despite the care taken to adjust for
known confounders."

Uh huh. They also suggest that vegetarians are somehow healthier than meat eaters:

"Vegetarians have lower arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic
acid levels and higher linoleate and antioxidant levels
in platelet phospholipids; such a biochemical profile
may be related to decreased atherogenesis and thrombogenesis."

But in another recent study published in March 2009, Mortality in British Vegetarians researchers found no difference in mortality between meat eaters and vegetarians. From the study:

"The mortality of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians
in this study is low compared with national rates.Within
the study, mortality from circulatory diseases and all causes is not
significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters.."

Let's use a little common sense. If eating red meat was so unhealthy, how in the world did humans come to exist? We've been eating red meat for hundreds of thousands of years.

If you torture the data enough it will confess…

Eat your red meat and enjoy it. What you don't want to eat is grain fed, hormone ridden and processed meats.

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