Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bill Clinton skips red meat, therefore, so should you

The logic is infallible - Bill Clinton doesn't eat processed red meat, therefore you shouldn't. What is good for Clinton is good for me? Really? [Bill Clinton skips red meat, study says you should too]. Mr. Clinton is only 65, thus using him as an example may be a bit premature. The study's conclusion is, at best, eating less red meat, processed or not, is beneficial to longer life.

I don't find that conclusion credible. But, rather than reading the story - it is better to read the Harvard press release and the study posted on line. It seems clear that in this study there is a clear association between consumption of red meat and longevity - it is inverse.

But we cannot take from the study why red meat may not be beneficial. And one is left to believe that the harmful effects depend on the amount of red meat consumed, and whether it is processed red meat or not. Finally, the use of the term "associated" is not the same as "caused." Thus, the study doesn't demonstrate that eating red meat deceases longevity, but that it is associated with decreased longevity.

Nit picking - I guess. But I am always skeptical of all these studies that are designed to dictate what is or what isn't good for you.