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‘Totally bizarre!’: Nutritionists see red over study downplaying the health risks of red meat

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The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and others also joined the backlash. The American College of Cardiology said it was 'alarmed by the reckless dietary recommendations.'

MARKETWATCH: ‘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. Willett is professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He’s chaired Harvard’s department of nutrition for more than two decades and has published 1,700 academic articles in the field.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit medical advocacy group, on Tuesday filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to rebut many of the claims made in the study. Neal Barnard, the PRCM president, slammed the study’s authors for “misrepresentations,” “an inaccurate statement of the findings,” and “a major disservice to public health”… The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and others also joined the backlash. The American College of Cardiology said it was “alarmed by the reckless dietary recommendations” In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Monograph panel, which is part of the World Health Organization, voted on the issue and concluded that red meat was “probably carcinogenic to humans”.’  SOURCE…

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