Oops, I got my studies all confused, there. I also don’t seem to have a category named, simply, Stupid Shit. I’ll have to think about that.
I have to begin by apologizing to whomever came up with this idea first, because it wasn’t me. I think I saw it on someone’s blog yesterday and then the news articles began pouring in via email and comments on existing posts. Whomever that was, if you see this, please drop a comment or email me and I’ll include your link [right here].
- Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early deaths
- Study: Too much red meat may shorten lifespan
- Red Meat Can Be Unhealthy, Study Suggests
Alright, cook it to medium or better, so it’s not red anymore…I guess?
I didn’t take much time to drill down, but I assume the sensation is all sensationally based on this sensational study, published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality.
So I had a bunch of links to read and apparently, as the title of the post suggests, got them all confused. See, there was another study that came out a couple of months ago that prompted some other news articles.
- Owning car, TV linked to heart attacks: study
- Heart Attack Risk Linked To Car Ownership And Owning A TV
There’s an interesting juxtaposition at work in the news articles reporting on both of these studies vis-a-vis heart attack risk and early mortality. Let’s take a look at how the latter study was reported. From the first link:
Car owners with a television are 27 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than people who have neither, according to a global study on physical exercise and heart disease published Wednesday.
More broadly, the study — covering more than 29,000 people in 52 countries — showed that working up a light sweat may be the best preventative medicine against heart failure.
Until now, surprisingly little research has focused on how physical exertion at work and play influences the incidence of heart attacks, and even less has directly compared this data across nations at all income levels.
“This study shows that mild to moderate physical activity at work, and any level of activity during leisure time, reduces the risk of heart attacks,” said lead researcher Claes Held, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden.
It also “extends previous findings of the protective effect of leisure-time physical activity … to low- and middle-income countries.”
And, from the second:
According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, owning a car and a television is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, while physical activity during leisure time or work considerably reduces the risk of heart attacks in developed and developing nations.
Did you see that? The journalists (and probably the study authors) immediately, without flinching, put the data into proper context: having a car & TV means you’re less likely to get moderate, normal amounts of quotidian, mundane activity like walking or taking an evening stroll, and that’s the most likely cause of the problems—not that driving a car gives you heart disease.
You won’t find any such context in the former set of articles; such as, distinctions between processed meats and the processed foods they’re wrapped in, the other included ingredients, etc. In fact, the photos are not of Hot Pockets and frozen pizza and pot pies, but of whole, fresh and cooked meats.
…Nor did anyone suggest that the ability to purchase nice fresh meat might be a decent marker for more sedentary, generally glutinous behavior, such as owning a car and a TV could be a marker for.
Sorry, this was all just too stupid, predictable, and commonplace to spend much time on constructing a decent rant. Feel free to let lose in comments though.