Participants in the highest quintiles of unprocessed red meat intake were eating more trans fats, soft drinks, coffee, dairy and potatoes. Both multivariate models were not adjusted for any of these variables. Sugar consumption, HFCS, vegetable oils and grains were completely ignored in the analysis, and as we know these modern foods have nothing to do with diabetes. Also, participants in the highest quintile in all 3 studies (204.157 people) were eating much more calories, were more sedentary, smoked much more, and drinked more alcohol. All these are markers of an unhealthy lifestyle (not only bad diet), so the highest quintile (Q5) is an unhealthy cohort. Notice that when the adjustments for BMI are introduced (multivariate model 2), the relative risks from the lowest to the highest quintiles (Q1->Q5) suffered a major decrease, with confidence intervals almost reaching 1.0 (null effect). This is a very important clue, obesity a possible cause (or a symptom?), not red meat in isolation. The pooled results from the 3 studies (HPFS, NHS1 and NHS2) show that the hazard ratio from Q1 to Q5 is 1.25 (or 25% increase). If you translate this into an absolute risk, it becomes only 1.5%, with a corresponding number needed to harm (NNH) 66. As a famous LC author would say, this is epidemiology facing its limits -> http://bit.ly/rrKwjl The authors recognize that "red meat intake was associated with BMI and weight gain in our cohorts, and thus BMI could be considered an intermediate variable between red meat intake and diabetes". In other words, unhealthy cohorts also eat more red meat, so red meat happens to be a marker of higher BMI/obesity, which may lead to diabetes. As we all know, association does not proves causality. What exactly causes obesity and diabetes, these are the 1 million dollar questions. Despite the obvious epidemiological problems, health authorities already know: meat causes obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, traffic jams, everything. And the studies are here to prove that, on a daily basis. Maybe it's because of the saturated fat in meat, they argue.