Friday, March 16, 2012

Slicing The Salami (and calling it steak).

Not about heart disease, cholesterol or statins but excellent excoriation of the ?study? published in Archives of Internal Medicine. Thanks blackdog!

Slicing The Salami (and calling it steak).

I am taking a brief respite from the 'Loss of Innocence' saga, to excoriate about the publicity for the study about the intake of meats causing Cancer. Much was made of this in the print and broadcast media with precious little criticism or adverse comment from, well anyone. But in truth it was like most of these proselytising studies, that attempt to steer us from the path of our demise by feeding us the results from 'scientific' research that is not really scientific at all.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is an observational study, which means it is not presenting any evidence, merely drawing conclusions from data provided by food frequency questionnaire's filled in by the cohort every four years! I can't even remember what I had for dinner last Tuesday, except to know it would have had meat in it, probably lots of it. These epidemiological type studies are really the starting point of a hypothesis to test it's credibility. They are not the end point, merely the beginning of a journey that should encompass all of the checks and balances that science should pursue to ensure that any statement made about anything should at least be founded in proven fact. So, is it likely that the cohort from whom the data was drawn, reported the facts of their diet without telling a few little lies? I really think not, but that's a side issue really.

Let us then look a little deeper. Firstly we see that all meat, processed or otherwise so long as it's red, is alarmingly 'lumped' together, although they
 So eating preserved meats does have a mechanism that could be causative of some cancers, because it does actually exist, but frankly you would have to eat really large amounts, on a regular basis. And, the bun surrounding the 'unprocessed' burger meat (sic) is likely to be more harmful. And what country is renowned for it's consumption of burgers and barbecued meats? Might that be the country of origin of the cohort of this study, the USA? Always remember, long suffering reader, that observation (and correlation) does not prove causation.
Read the full article by BLACKDOG here.
And I learned a new word - excoriate: to denounce vehemently; censure severely.

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