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Thursday, October 17, 2019

No need to cut back on red meat? Really?

That's the message from the authors of this paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Their message:  There is no need to cut back on red and processed meat, because it doesn't reduce risk that much, and people like meat a lot.

As you would imagine, there was a lot of pushback when this was published.  There were responses from the Plantrician Project, the True Health Initiative featuring former president of the American College of Cardiology Kim Williams MD,  Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee, and David Katz, and even one of the co-investigators objected to the final publication.

What are the problems with this study?  I'll summarize here, and more thorough reviews as highlighted above go into more details.

*The methods used here were not suited to studies on nutrition.
*Studies that compared a standard diet to a vegetarian or plant-based diet were not included.
*The authors DID find that red meat increases risk of disease -- they just argued that people like red and processed meat so much that they're not willing to give them up.

Red meat is a known carcinogen, labeled as such by the World Health Organization.  Further, the places in the world where people live the longest, these places have very low meat consumption.