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 Post subject: A "Beef is evil" article
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:48 am 
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Any comments?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt ... eaths.html

This is another article about the article:

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/13/will_red_meat_kill_you/


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Those articles just link to each other but neither links to the study. We are currently discussing it on Robb Wolf's site but I haven't had time to look into it yet. There is a link to the study there.

http://robbwolf.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5031

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:17 am 
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Here is a quote
Quote:
Men and women with higher intake of red meat were less likely to be physically active and were more likely to be current smokers, to drink alcohol, and to have a higher body mass index (Table 1). In addition, a higher red meat intake was associated with a higher intake of total energy but lower intakes of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Here's a bit from earlier on in the methodology section.
Quote:
We analyzed data from 2 prospective cohort studies: the HPFS (initiated in 1986, n = 51 529 men aged 40-75 years) and the NHS (started in 1976, n = 121 700 women aged 30-55 years). Detailed descriptions of the cohorts are provided elsewhere.7-8 Questionnaires were administered biennially to collect and update medical, lifestyle, and other health-related information, and the follow-up rates exceeded 90% in each 2-year cycle for both cohorts.


So basically what they are doing, is picking a couple studies, from who knows what all available data. Then they go by questionnaires. They even admit to all the other things associated with the red meat, as if eating red meat makes people do that, rather than people who do that don't underestimate something viewed as "unhealthy" at the time of the studies.

They also fail to separate all the other variables involved here. So how do we know what caused what? Not to mention the whole thing was presupposition from the beginning. They chose that variable, trying to find those results.

That's not how science works. In science, you make conclusions from the evidence, you separate all variables, you don't assume a relation is causative without evidence, and you don't cherry pick.
If you do all those things, it's pseudoscience.

People all take this seriously because of confirmation bias. So nobody questions, and everyone thinks you're nuts if you do.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:35 am 
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+1 to Ironman's post.<soapbox> This is why I don't watch, listen or read the news in general any more. Any respectable journalist should be writing a piece on the flaws of the study and why money was spent on it, rather than the sensationalist headlines of "red meat kills". Cooked red meat is part of what made us who we are - the top of the food chain. How any reasonable, sound and logical conclusion can be drawn from such a study has me perplexed. This is how psychology research is done, not biology. I really hope I didn't waste anybody's time by having them attempt to read this. I could argue against everything I said. I see the flaws. I still stand by what I said. </soapbox>


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:32 am 
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Mike, nothing wrong a good rant and stating your opinion. We all do that quite a bit here. the small font is hard to read though. the lack of journalistic integrityin the media is a pet peeve of mine. Maybe that's because I married a journalist and my daughter is studying to become one, or maybe, like you, I'm just tired of the BS and slopiness. I don't think this is all the fault of the media though. The researchers are as much to blame as Ironman pointed out.

Denise Minger did a nice job ripping apart this study at Mark's Daily Apple. There's a link in the Robb Wolf thread I posted.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:07 pm 
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I've seen a number of good blog posts discussing why this observational study is flawed and why the media is so wrong, but Gary Taubes gives an explanation of why so much dietary research in general is not science.

http://garytaubes.com/2012/03/science-p ... -and-meat/

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Yep, Taubes is right. That's exactly what I keep telling people, that nothing like that is real science. I saw the Denise Minger analysis. She is VERY thorough, and put a lot of time and effort into that. It was very well done.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Because of this crap my mom has decided to stop buying red meat.

Now it's personal.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:28 pm 
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All the studies showed is that the people that cared about their health and lied about their meat intake were healthier than those that didn't care about their health and didn't bother to lie. What matters is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the quality of the meat you eat and what you eat with it. That study said nothing about those things.

By the way, the mastermind behind the study is Walter Willett. He has built his career around the Nurse study used in this recent study. He's a key influence on government dietary guidelines and is one of the most cited "researchers" in clinical medicine. He has too much to lose if the public becomes aware that the Paleo diet is better that the official diet recommendations. I see this as a direct assault on that, as red meat is center to the paleo diet. Note my signature line about the 3 stages of an idea. We're past the ridicule stage now. You can expect more direct attacks in the near future.

bad science is so depressing. Here's some good science. http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/scienc ... e_acronyms

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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Thanks TimD


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