So, Rashmi Sinha, PhD; Amanda J. Cross, PhD; Barry I. Graubard, PhD; Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, DrPH; and Arthur Schatzkin, MD, DrPH all set out to prove that eating red meat kills you, and — surprise! surprise! — they got the result they were looking for in the first place.
Now, I have not looked at this in detail, mostly because it's the same formula I see all the time. In this case, they get a half million old people, give them a questionnaire on their eating habits over the past 12 months (relying upon their memories), then they see who croaks and who doesn't over the next ten years — ten years riddled with general, increasingly hysterical propaganda about cutting fat, avoiding meat, eating more grains and vegetable oils — not to mention an explosion of high-sugar, highly processed, vegetable oil and grain ladden packaged foods — many of them criminally labeled and advertised as "healthy" or "heart healthy;" and the assumption in the study, of course, is that the subjects continued to eat as they had eaten (or, rather, how they recalled from memory how they had eaten).
It's utter crap, and here's their bias on display going into the thing in the first place.
To investigate whether the overall composition of meat intake was associated with mortality, we created 3 diet types: high-, medium-, and low-risk meat diet. To form these diet variables, red and white meat consumption was energy adjusted and split into 2 groups using the median values as cut points. Individuals with red meat consumption in the upper half and white meat consumption in the lower half got a score of 1 (high-risk meat diet), those with both red and white meat consumption in the same half got a score of 2 (medium-risk meat diet), and those with red meat consumption in the lower half and white meat consumption in the upper half got a score of 3 (low-risk meat diet).
So, even before knowing what results they would get, they assessed the "risk" of the diets based on the amount of red meat consumed. You don't think for a second that they would design a study that had any major risk of showing a result where the "low-risk diet" was highest in associated risk, do you?
This kind of crap means nothing to us, folks. And the reason it means nothing is because they are simply comparing a bunch of people eating mostly crap diets (as most Americans do, now) in various mixes of crap & decent food. This is totally inapplicable to a Paleo-like dieter who eats 95% + whole, real food and abstains from killer whole grains, heart-attack-in-a-bottle vegetable oils, concentrated sugar — and all the derivatives loaded with one or more of these — and takes it easy on the starches and fruits.
Now go eat your blood red meat.