I enjoy eating meat. In fact I consider it an important part of most of my dinners.
Not everyone feels the same about meat. There are some who very much object to people consuming it. Each to their own. My choices what I’ll eat.
But, every now and again I encounter someone who thinks they need to attempt to stop me doing so. They usually trot out studies that make claims a range of claims about how eating meat can result in death from a range of health issues.
Studies. Done properly they truly can help to determine potential outcomes. Done with rigorous scientific methodology the outcomes can have great authority. We often will point to reports of a study being done without a second thought.
I came across an article today reporting an organization, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) had examined numerous studies on eating meat and found the majority of them were lazily done. Their reported outcomes more an illusion of authority than actual science.
In the process of their analysis they developed a protocol that could be applied to each study to assess the strength of their results. Using the protocol they developed, they found the majority of the outcomes didn’t show any serious proof that eating meat could lead to the claimed health outcomes.
Many of the studies failed to carefully track what participants were eating or other factors that could also lead to the same outcomes. For instance, were the participants eating vegetables or engaging in exercise? Some studies relied on the memory of the participants instead of tracking them
This is not really an unusual issue. A lot of studies are not done using vigorous methods or by people who have any expertise in the subject field. Even worse, there are some who claim to do analysis of studies done on a subject and then tout their conclusions even if they don’t have expertise in the field of study.
I’ve seen this so often, now I will look up the references of who did the study or is reporting they have done an analysis to find out their credibility. More than once I’ve found they are basically grifters. You could say their credibility is an illusion.
Yes, I did do a search on the IHME to see if there were any issues with their credibility. A site called Media Bias / Fact Check found the IHME to be highly pro-science. Based on that report I should believe them.
But, it could all be an illusion.
You know what?
It can be real or an illusion, just pass me my medium-done steak. That’s real.
- Red meat is not a health risk. New study slams years of shoddy research
- Health effects associated with consumption of unprocessed red meat: a Burden of Proof study
- The Burden of Proof studies: assessing the evidence of risk
- Media Bias / Fact Check
Shadowspub is a writer from Ontario, Canada. She writes on a variety of subjects as she pursues her passion for learning. She also writes on other platforms and enjoys creating books you use like journals, notebooks, coloring books etc.
NOTE: unless otherwise stated, all images are the author’s
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