Evaluating the Grey Areas: Health References Under Scrutiny

At True Health Initiative, we challenge the status quo by scrutinizing less reliable sources to enhance your critical thinking regarding health information.

Each reference cited here has been flagged by subject-matter experts for containing issues in at least 1 questionable area that may compromise its reliability. 

Please note: The content here is for informational purposes only and should be used as a starting point for further investigation and discussion.

References With Commentary

Contribution of terrestrial animal source food to healthy diets for improved nutrition and health outcomes. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. 2023.

  • The publication included the name of Walter Willett without his knowledge or consent, which he subsequently asked to be removed.
  • Does not explore the potential of non-animal fortified protein foods or supplementation.
  • Suggests plant-based meat alternatives have no evidence for nutritional outcomes but insect proteins show promise.
  • States plant-based milks are protein deficient, based on an article from a dairy journal, without distinguishing between soy and other plant milks.
  • States animal protein is of superior quality based on PDCASS and DIASS without referencing clinical research showing better outcomes and without including papers comparing long-term clinical outcomes of animal vs appropriate plant protein intakes.

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study: examining the impact of societal influences on chronic noncommunicable diseases in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Koon Teo, Clara K Chow, Mario Vaz, Sumathy Rangarajan, Salim Yusuf; PURE Investigators-Writing Group. American Heart Journal. July 2009.

Perspective on scientific truth versus scientific evidence; maintaining integrity in global food systems. Ederer, 2024. Animal Production Science. • Questionable journal – it has an impact factor of 1.4 (2022) • More vegetables, legumes, etc is clearly good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘less meat,’ because you can eat more of A without eating less of B. • Ignores the quantification of food intake as a % of the daily total, generally measured in energy/calories. • In an age of pandemic obesity, the remedy to our ills is not to have everyone keep eating all they are currently eating and just add to it

The Dublin Declaration.

  • Two of the six initiators (Declan Troy and Rod Polkinghorne) are also associated with the International Meat Research Association 3G Foundation (a collaborative, independent, not-for-profit international eating quality research platform linked to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Specialized Section on Meat)
  • 6 of the 36 authors declared a potential conflict of interest due to associations with meat industry.