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Red/Processed Meat Consumption Linked to Type 2 Diabetes?
Old 08-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Red/Processed Meat Consumption Linked to Type 2 Diabetes?

From the following link: Study: Red and Processed Meats Linked to Type 2 Diabetes – TIME Healthland

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After adjusting for contributing risk factors like age, weight, exercise habits, smoking, genetic predispositions and other dietary factors, the researchers found a strong association between eating red meat, particularly processed meat, and risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Among their findings:
• Each 2-oz. serving of processed meat, including hot dogs, bacon, salami and other cold cuts, per day accounted for a 51% increase in diabetes risk
• A 3.5-oz. serving of unprocessed red meat, such as hamburger, steak, pork or lamb, per day was linked to a 19% increase in risk of diabetes
• Replacing one serving per day of red and processed meats with healthier options, such as nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy, accounted for a 16% to 35% reduction in diabetes risk
This doesn't pass the sniff test. I imagine the study could have been re-titled as: Regular Consumption of Big Macs* Linked to Type 2 Diabetes.

IMO, it ain't the red meat, it's the fried potatoes and 64 oz soft drink that you wash it down with. Once again, correlation does not equal causation.

Anybody think there's any truth to this "study"?

*I'd wager that McDonald's is the source of the majority of red meat consumed annually by most Americans.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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First the study did adjust for "other dietary factors" which would hopefully take into consideration the french fires and soft drinks, but without reading the actual study I don't know if it did.

The author himself points out that correlation is not causation:

Quote:
As with any observational study, the current research does not establish a causal relationship between red meat consumption and diabetes risk, but the evidence that they are associated is fairly strong.
All I know is that someone is eating my beef cause I certainly don't get to eat ~ 100#/yr

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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IMO, it ain't the red meat, it's the fried potatoes and 64 oz soft drink that you wash it down with. Once again, correlation does not equal causation.
Apart from the academic interest of what truly causes diabetes, if it's one or more of red meat, fried potatoes, soft drinks, and if you stop consuming all three, you've probably increased your chances of survival. You know, it's not like red meat, fried potatoes and soft drinks are necessary to life as we know it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Anybody think there's any truth to this "study"?
The media blows these things out of proportion, and way too many studies are crap anyway. If you find this is just the latest in 20, 30, 50 or more studies all saying the same things, then maybe you've got something to hang your hat on.

Edit: I'll agree with other posters to say it's the processed crap - and the associated trans-fatty fries you know are going down with the meat - that's a real cholesterol shock to the system. I'm misquoting Alton Brown here: "I figure I've eaten ten zillion french fries in my life, and I really don't need to eat another."
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
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The media blows these things out of proportion, and way too many studies are crap anyway. If you find this is just the latest in 20, 30, 50 or more studies all saying the same things, then maybe you've got something to hang your hat on.

Edit: I'll agree with other posters to say it's the processed crap - and the associated trans-fatty fries you know are going down with the meat - that's a real cholesterol shock to the system. I'm misquoting Alton Brown here: "I figure I've eaten ten zillion french fries in my life, and I really don't need to eat another."
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Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data on 200,000 men and women who participated in the long-term Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses' Health Studies. They also conducted a larger analysis, which included data from other previously published studies, looking at a total of 442,101 participants, 28,228 of whom developed Type 2 diabetes during the study period.

While I have to agree with you that there is a lot of crap information out that is frequently overplayed by the media I have heard of this Harvard place before. Crap studies don't usually come from there. The long-term Health Professionals HOME | Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and Nurse's Health Welcome to the Nurses’ Health Study | Nurses' Health Study studies are ongoing very large, very well done epidemiological studies from which a large amount of very useful medical information has been gleaned.

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DblDoc View Post

While I have to agree with you that there is a lot of crap information out that is frequently overplayed by the media I have heard of this Harvard place before. Crap studies don't usually come from there. The long-term Health Professionals HOME | Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and Nurse's Health Welcome to the Nurses’ Health Study | Nurses' Health Study studies are ongoing very large, very well done epidemiological studies from which a large amount of very useful medical information has been gleaned.

DD
One thing that makes little sense about this report is that red meat consumption in this country (2000) is only slightly higher than it was in the 50s (about 6# pa). Red meat consumption has been slowly falling for 40 years. So if eating red meat causes diabetes T2, why is the diabetes incidence rapidly rising in the face of steady or falling red meat consumption?

Ha
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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...I have heard of this Harvard place before. Crap studies don't usually come from there.
Touche, you got me there.

My point was not that this study is garbage, but that I'm not going to get excited over a single study. If you eliminate the outright quackery and chicanery that takes place these days, you still have to deal with: "oops, we got that one wrong." There are a lot of studies that have been conducted that get some well-deserved criticism for how they were designed, conducted and/or reported - them Harvard boys might be wicked smaht, but they ain't perfect.

Edit: A single study may raise an interesting question, or two. Half a dozen with the same results/conclusions is something to pay attention to.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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One thing that makes little sense about this report is that red meat consumption in this country (2000) is only slightly higher than it was in the 50s (about 6# pa). Red meat consumption has been slowly falling for 40 years. So if eating red meat causes diabetes T2, why is the diabetes incidence rapidly rising in the face of steady or falling red meat consumption?

Ha
Good question. My training was in Molecular Biology not Epidemiology and we are looking at a summary, not the study itself. One thing that does come to mind is sedentary lifestyle.

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Old 08-12-2011, 11:31 PM   #9
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Touche, you got me there.

My point was not that this study is garbage, but that I'm not going to get excited over a single study. If you eliminate the outright quackery and chicanery that takes place these days, you still have to deal with: "oops, we got that one wrong." There are a lot of studies that have been conducted that get some well-deserved criticism for how they were designed, conducted and/or reported - them Harvard boys might be wicked smaht, but they ain't perfect.

Edit: A single study may raise an interesting question, or two. Half a dozen with the same results/conclusions is something to pay attention to.
Every study has flaws, some more than others that is true. I'm not an Epidemiologist and we are just seeing the a summary so hard to know how well it was done. We can see though that this was based on a large # of patients (200,000) and also includes what I'm guessing was a meta-analysis of several other studies:

Quote:
They also conducted a larger analysis, which included data from other previously published studies, looking at a total of 442,101 participants, 28,228 of whom developed Type 2 diabetes during the study period.

So a very large number of patients and includes information from other studies. Unless there was some serious design issues or outright fraud it is compelling information. But we already knew eating a lot of processed meat was bad for us already . I'm still going to eat salami, bacon and barbecue

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Old 08-13-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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I can understand hot dogs, fatty cuts and processed stuff being suspect, but if they are looking at lean cuts of red meat, I think not. Of course if you are consuming too many calories of anything that can make you overweight and probably more susceptible.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #11
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I will continue to eat whatever I want, but the first thing that comes to mind when I read something like this is a question:

What is the biochemical mechanism by which consumption of these tasty things might cause Type 2 diabetes?

Even the Time piece admits "The researchers weren't sure exactly why red meat may contribute to diabetes risk..."; they have merely pointed out a correlation.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:39 PM   #12
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What is the biochemical mechanism by which consumption of these tasty things might cause Type 2 diabetes?
A theory: red meat is burger; burger implies bun; bun is refined carb = bad.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:05 PM   #13
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So if eating red meat causes diabetes T2, why is the diabetes incidence rapidly rising in the face of steady or falling red meat consumption?
It could just be one causative factor. If US red meat consumption declines slightly over the decades, but we consume 30% more calories in total (more HFCS, more carbs, etc), I can see how diabetes would still increase. (I made those numbers up)
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:36 PM   #14
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It could just be one causative factor. If US red meat consumption declines slightly over the decades, but we consume 30% more calories in total (more HFCS, more carbs, etc), I can see how diabetes would still increase. (I made those numbers up)
Oh sure, I agree. But this doesn't suggest that red meat causes anything.

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Old 08-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #15
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I blame the increase in T2 due to the Food Channel ...

Mostly Paula Dean, with her use of butter and Guy Feri with his program Diners, Drive-ins and Dives which I never miss ...
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #16
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I ignore all of these 'studies'.

Some studies say coffee will kill you. Others say it reduces stroke risk. Tea used to be bad but now it's a wonder food full of antioxidents. Flax seed oil used to be the holy grail, now it's not. Salt is supposed to be the devil, but for those of us with low blood pressure it keeps us from passing out!

So I just choose to ignore it all, keep my weight at a normal BMI, get moderate amounts of exercise and eat and drink what I want.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:50 PM   #17
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Lisa99, you give me great cause for concern.
That kind of attitude is extremely politically incorrect.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:53 PM   #18
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I ignore all of these 'studies'.

Some studies say coffee will kill you. Others say it reduces stroke risk. Tea used to be bad but now it's a wonder food full of antioxidents. Flax seed oil used to be the holy grail, now it's not. Salt is supposed to be the devil, but for those of us with low blood pressure it keeps us from passing out!

So I just choose to ignore it all, keep my weight at a normal BMI, get moderate amounts of exercise and eat and drink what I want.
Shhhh... Careful, or you'll get pulled over by the food police and charged with reckless eating.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:17 PM   #19
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Just let em try to take away my hot fudge sundae....they'll pull back a nub!!
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #20
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Just let em try to take away my hot fudge sundae....they'll pull back a nub!!
Darn right. If you want to make yourself sick, it's nobody's business but yours. It tastes good, and that's what really counts.
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