March 17, 2012

The Red Scare: Paleo bloggers destroy the Harvard anti-meat study

By now I'm sure you've come across the red-meat-will-kill-you meme in some form or another. The hysteria was triggered by a Harvard School of Public Health study which indicated that, "Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, CVD [cardiovascular disease], and cancer mortality."

Thankfully, a number of Paleo bloggers and nutritionists have taken the time to pick the study apart and reveal its flaws:
As Robb Wolf notes, the primary take-aways from most of these articles are:
  1. Nutrition data was collected via Food Frequency Questionnaires. Yes, folks just had to remember what they thought they ate.
  2. Confounders galore. The higher meat consumption group tended to be overweight, smoked and was less active. Apparently they did not get a Paleo cohort in that mix?
  3. Correlation does not equal causation.

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