A Harvard School of Public Health study, published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week, examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than twenty years and concluded that eating any amount or any type of red meat significantly increases the risk of premature death.
The study asserted that adding a daily serving of a hot dog or two slices of bacon caused a 20% higher risk of death. Past studies have linked the consumption of red meat, particularly processed red meat, with diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But this one goes much farther indicting meat as the principal cause of premature death.
The Harvard School of Medicine, whose studies are financed by multinational corporations with an agenda, concluded that the results suggest that, among the 37,698 men and 83,644 women who were tracked, as their meat consumption increased, so did their risk of mortality.
Mark Twain once said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Twenty years of studying 100,000 plus people is just not enough time or sufficient participants (approximately .0003% of the U.S. population) to project these results as affecting a population of 349 million people. The study’s conclusions are shortsighted and terribly flawed.
For example, did the study participants eat red meat fed with genetically modified corn, shot-up with bovine growth hormones and daily doses of antibiotics as well as containing chemical “pink slime” to avoid E. coli?
It is unlikely any of the study participants ate grass-fed organic beef which contains no harmful chemicals? Nor did the study identify whether the participants ate organic fruits and vegetables or conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that were no exposed to multiple applications of Monsanto’s Roundup.
There was also no mention of the amount of packaged and frozen foods that were consumed by study participants, many such products containing more than 150 chemical ingredients, mostly carcinogenic.
It should be noted that the “Greatest Generation” has outlived all others before it eating meat every day of the week. But the meat that generation ate, until the last two decades, was grass-fed organic meat. And the dairy that generation consumed was free of bovine growth hormones, daily shots of antibiotics and not fed genetically modified corn and soy.
The study data does not differentiate between the participants’ diets, nor does it trace the sugar or alcohol consumption of the participants. There was also no indication of how many of them smoked or how many of the ones who died smoked or worked in environmentally hazardous jobs or locations.
And how many of the 110,000 surveyed actually died. Twenty years does not seem adequate to truly understand the lifestyles of all those surveyed and what affected those who died.
Were there autopsies to determine whether the red meat was really a factor in their death as opposed to other causes such as accidents, metals poisonings or reactions to medicines. All common causes of death in our modern society. And there are a legion of other possible causes of death that render the study’s statistics flawed.
And what about those participants who did not die? No one knows how long the they will live and any projection of their life span based upon this small sampling of our population is terribly flawed. Isn’t the study just speculating at what will happen to the surviving study participants over their lifetimes?
There are more unanswered questions about the ages of the participants, how much daily exercise was involved and whether their jobs posed environmental and health hazards that would also eschew the statistics. Certainly their geographical location and the style of regional food have an impact on their longevity.
Did the participants drink sugary soft drinks? Were their family histories taken to determine their individual risk factors? How many were single? And how many lived at the poverty line?
Certainly a study group consisting of Americans’ living at the poverty level would provide different statistics than a study group consisting of well-educated upscale Americans who can afford to buy better quality meats and eat organic foods.
Any study group consisting of Americans living on fast foods will have increased mortality rates and statistics. Not to mention the high incidence of diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney disease already chronicled in multiple studies in the last decade.
So what does this Harvard study really mean? Absolutely nothing without closely scrutinizing all of the parameters used to create the study group tested. And examining who funded the study and what their economic interest was in financing the study.
For example, was it intended to spur the sales of drugs or some other financially profitable remedy? It is difficult to believe that any for-profit multinational corporation financed this study out of the goodness of their corporate heart.
Without scrutinizing all of the missing information, this study has probably been twisted into whatever conclusion the grant money intended when it was provided. You can be assured that whoever paid for this study had an agenda.
To avoid the consequences of this study, it is important to avoid factory farmed meats and factory farmed dairy products, not to mention chemically polluted packaged and frozen foods.
If you want to live as long as your grandma, you should consider eating like your grandma did in her younger days.