I'm sure others have seen this one popping up all over the news today.
"Red Meat, Processed Meat Linked to Diabetes Risk" http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20110810/red-meat-processed-meat-linked-to-diabetes-risk
And of course they pushed the grains and low-fat diary.
You gotta love articles that state "red meat increases risk of diabetes" then goes on to talk about hot dogs and deli trays, then mentions unprocessed meat... like hamburger.
Anyone have more info on the study? I was guessing a McD's Big Mac would be in the "unprocessed meat" category, but I haven't found the criteria yet.
Yea saw that in NYT health section.
ANd expect them to keep coming out.
Here's the problem, since the 80s when people were told red meat was bad, health conscious people stopped or significantly reduced their consumption of red meat. So most red meat eaters these days (except for low-carb/paleo types) are more likely to drink soda, go to McDonald's and eat junk in general.
So any epidemiological study on red meat is gonna show it's connected to any and all health aliments, not because they eat red meat, but because of everything else they're eating.
They answered the question for us:
"It is safe to say that people who eat more red meat in general probably exhibit other dietary and physical activity behaviors that predispose them to the development of type 2 diabetes," she says. "We don't know that reducing red meat, in isolation, will be of benefit, but it is something to think about"
From one of the press reports on this:
"A 2-ounce serving a day of processed meat (hot dog, bacon, salami or bologna) increased the risk of diabetes by 50%.
A 4-ounce serving a day (the size of a deck of cards) of unprocessed red meat such as hamburger, steak, pork or lamb was associated with a 20% increased risk of diabetes."
So processed meat (hot dog, bacon, salami or bologna) has around 5x the risk of diabetes of unprocessed meat.
Now, the press reports say nothing about what else the subjects ate besides their 4-ounce serving per day of meat. 4 ounces of meat has about 300 calories. What did they eat for their other 1500-2000 calories per day? This is nearly a vegetarian diet. Maybe it is the vegetarian diet, not the meat, that is causing the diabetes?
I think the more relevant point is that, as always, we are talking damned statistics which, as we all know, can be twisted and misconstrued to represent whatever side of the argument you like!
One report that I read contained the following analysis of the study:
Study participants had about a 7 percent risk, on average, of developing Type 2 diabetes over course of the studies ranging from 14 years to 28 years; a 50 percent increase in risk would raise that to a 10.5 percent risk, while a 20 percent increase in risk would raise it to 8.4 percent.
So a 50% increase in risk actually translates to a 3.5% increase.
In addition, this report (the original version) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2011-releases/red-meat-type-2-diabetes.html is not a dedicated study but a study of other studies and questionnaires - so, not much room for misinterpretation there then! If the original misses out any relevant information how the hell can you draw valid conclusions in your study?
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.
I'm downvoting this as being totally irrelevant. What would you expect? The study directors weren't out to do an all-paleo population study. If red meat were part of an obese population's diet I would expect red meat to be part of the overeating/underexercising causation of diabetes.
Beyond that what is your question? If it's about whether they ate at McDonalds we can safely answer "probably".
Red meat depending how you view it can be the worst food and the best food. Deep fried in vegetable oil conventionally raised meat is one of the worst foods. Meat from wild moose grazing in pristine forests somewhere in Canada is probably one of the healthiest foods out there.
Eat less meat thereby eatting BETTER meat. No sense thinking cheap buffets or fast food has real meat to stuff yourself with. Only in America does one believe that a 32 oz steak is for one person. And stop reading those BS news stories.