PUBLISHED BY: MarketWatch

‘Totally bizarre!’ – nutritionists see red over study downplaying the health risks of red meat

Author: Brett Arends
Nutritionists across the country are hitting back hard after a new collection of studies alleged that red meat and processed meats — including steak, ribs, bacon and salami — are fine for your health after all. ‘They ignored major parts of the available evidence.’ —Harvard University professor Walter Willett, who has published 1,700 academic articles on nutrition and public health
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Put down the T-bone and slowly back away from that side order of ribs.

Nutritionists across the country are hitting back hard after a new collection of studies alleged that red meat and processed meats — including steak, ribs, bacon and salami — are fine for your health after all.

“Totally bizarre,” Harvard University professor Walter Willett told MarketWatch. “It really displays ignorance. They ignored major parts of the available evidence.”

He was speaking after the Annals of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American College of Physicians, this week published a collection of five studies that contradicted decades of growing consensus about the health risks of red meat, including pork, and processed meats.

The studies didn’t actually say that red meat was good for you — they just argued that the evidence they were bad for you was weak.

It concluded: “Low- to very-low-certainty evidence suggests that diets restricted in red meat may have little or no effect on major cardiometabolic outcomes and cancer mortality and incidence.”

But Willett said it made no sense to include red meat in good health recommendations. “People [also] like to smoke,” he said. “They like to drink sugared soft drinks, they like to have unsafe sex.”

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