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Are Studies Accurate?

December 28, 2012

Are polls, studies and research biased? I suppose it depends on how one looks at it. How you ask the question matters! “What would happen if we….” is a different approach than “We want to show ____. How do we make that happen?”

This came up – with other questions – in response to a Yahoo article.

We’ve heard many times before that too much red meat is bad for us, but this study of more than 100,000 people still got the nation’s attention. For the first time, researchers estimated the effect of red meat on a person’s lifespan—and the news wasn’t good.

On average, each additional serving of saturated fat-filled red meat was associated with a 13% higher risk of dying during the 28-year study. Processed meat products such as hot dogs, bacon, and salami were especially hazardous. The antidote? Eating more fish, poultry, whole grains, and low-fat dairy may lower your risk of dying prematurely, the study found.

So it makes me wonder, over 28 years. And granted 100,000 people is an extreme minority of the population…but this doesn’t say much. For me it raises more questions than answers! How old were the people when they started? What were health issues? Were all causes of death equal? For example, if several people in the study were in auto accidents, that is a death, but is it attributed to eating red meat? If they ate bacon every morning for breakfast and were fine at the end of the 28 years was that reflected?

Balance is so important! Be objective when reading reports…writers, researchers…all the links along the chain have perceptions too!

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