Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don't Throw That Red Meat Away!

If he would just cut out the red meat...
 I am sure you heard by now about the recent study released eluding to the idea that red meat consumption may shorten one's life.  The media took this one and ran with it.  I saw it on the news this morning and tonight.  Here are just a few of the headlines at the top of a Google search: "More support for passing on the red meat" "Eating All Red Meat Increases Death and More Reasons to Never Eat Meat" "Study: Red meat linked to risk of premature death" "Red Meat Shortens Life? What to Do".  It seemed pretty damning toward red meat.  I had to do some digging to see if I was killing myself and my family.

It wasn't hard to find some intelligent analysis of the study.  The study results were based on food questionnaires filled out by subjects every four years.  What the numbers actually show is there was less than ONE more death out of 100 people in the group that ate the most red meat compared to the group who ate the least over the 28 year study.  Hmmm, not such a big risk in my opinion but still a difference.  There were some interesting statistics not reported by most media outlets.  Here is what I have not read and probably will not see on the news regarding the group who ate the most red meat:
  1. They also had the most smokers
  2. They were the least physically active
  3. They ate the most calories 
  4. They had the highest rate of diabetes
  5. They drank the most alcohol
  6. They had the highest body mass index
In all those categories, the differences between the group who ate the most red meat vs. the least was actually pretty significant.  Is it possible there was a slightly lower death rate in the lowest red meat consumption group because they were more health conscious and just took much better care of themselves than the highest red meat consumption group?  Sure seems like a possibility.  Was the lower red meat consumption the reason for the lower risk of death?  I don't know, maybe we should look to India who has a large vegetarian population yet heart disease and diabetes are on the rise.  Huh, maybe red meat isn't the problem.

I have to wonder, is it safer to be a vegetarian and a smoker?  Or how about a vegetarian and a couch potato?  Better to be a vegetarian and a diabetic?  Or does nothing else matter except to just not eat red meat???  Well, when the news only talks about the red meat and leaves out all the other risk factors it sure seems that is what they want us to think.

Again, these attention grabbing headlines have failed to change my opinion regarding what I feel is the healthiest way to feed myself and my family.  My ship keeps on sailing.....stay the course.

For more detailed reading on this study go here, here, and here.


1 comment:

John said...

yeah people can't reconize they mistakes. For every health issue they blame red meat