Red meat study draws questions, criticism
Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 4:06 PM
by Julie Harker/Bob Meyer/Ken Anderson
A new study claiming red meat consumption shortens life spans is drawing criticism from those inside the meat industry and some questions from those outside the meat industry.
The study, conducted by the National Cancer Institute, looked at what more than a half-million people, ages 50 to 71, were eating over the span of a decade. It concluded that people who eat less red meat have fewer chronic disease issues and longer life spans.
The American Meat Institute says the study, which was published in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine, relies on “notoriously unreliable self reporting” about what people have eaten over a period of several years.
AMI vice president James Hodges issued a statement saying meat products are part of a healthy, balanced diet. He says “single studies cannot draw major conclusions”, but adds that, unfortunately, is what has happened.
Chrisanne Urban is a registered dietician with Marshfield Clinic, a major medical and research facility in Wisconsin. She says one needs to look at studies like this with a critical eye, “You can’t take each study word-for-word.” She says the truth lies in the big picture of what the study is showing. Read More
So after years of studying this issue, basically it comes back to the fact that you should eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. I watched an interview yesterday with an official from the American Cancer Society and even he had to admit there can be problems with studies that rely on self-reporting. Efforts on the part of livestock producers have always been to provide consumers with information about eating everything in moderation and educating them about the different cuts of meat available.