Say What?: Put Processed And Red Meats Back On The Dinner Table, Controversial New Study Suggests
Just as plant-based burgers are starting to gain acceptance, a new study published in the American College of Physicians' journal Annals of Medicine is saying there's little scientific evidence to support that eating less red meat is better for your health. But the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and other groups have attacked the findings and the journal that published them.
The Washington Post:
A Study Says Full Speed Ahead On Processed And Red Meat Consumption. Nutrition Scientists Say Not So Fast.
Analyzing the data from five studies that encompassed 54,000 people, the researchers did not find a significant association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer. They also found a vegetarian diet provided few, if any, health benefits. Given the enthusiasm among meat eaters for steaks and burgers, the impacts would have to be much greater to suggest curtailing red and processed meat, said Bradley Johnston, associate professor in the department of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University and the lead researcher on the study. Johnston acknowledged the study’s recommendations are contrary to almost all other guidelines that exist. (Reiley, 9/30)
The New York Times:
Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice.
Public health officials for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of concerns that these foods are linked to heart disease, cancer and other ills. But on Monday, in a remarkable turnabout, an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice, a bedrock of almost all dietary guidelines, is not backed by good scientific evidence. (Kolata, 9/30)
The Associated Press:
How Risky Is Eating Red Meat? New Papers Provoke Controversy
Their conclusions were swiftly attacked by a group of prominent U.S. scientists who took the unusual step of trying to stop publication until their criticisms were addressed. The new work does not say red meat and processed meats like hot dogs and bacon are healthy or that people should eat more of them. The reviews of past studies generally support the ties to cancer, heart disease and other bad health outcomes. But the authors say the evidence is weak, and that there’s not much certainty meat is really the culprit, since other diet and lifestyle factors could be at play. (Choi, 9/30)
No Need To Cut Back On Red Meat? Controversial New 'Guidelines' Lead To Outrage
Recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, as well as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, all call for limiting red meats and processed meats. "I am outraged and bewildered," says nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford University. "This is perplexing, given the ... clear evidence for harm associated with high red meat intake," says Frank Hu, the chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (Aubrey, 9/30)
The New York Times:
That Perplexing Red Meat Controversy: 5 Things To Know
Dietary guidelines from groups as diverse as the Department of Agriculture to the World Health Organization urge all of us to eat less red meat — much less. But the authors of four new studies, published on Wednesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, report there is no compelling evidence that reducing consumption of red or processed meats will be beneficial to an individual. A furious backlash is already unfolding. Here are five takeaways from the debate. (Kolata, 9/30)
In other nutrition news -
The New York Times:
Foods High In Vitamin A May Help Ward Off Skin Cancer
Getting a lot of vitamin A in your diet is tied to a lower risk for squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, a review of studies has found. Squamous cell carcinoma, a slow-growing cancer usually found on sun-exposed areas, is easy to treat if found early, although in rare cases it can spread to other tissues. (Bakalar, 10/1)