Diabetes and Red meatJanuary 8, 2020
A recent op-ed piece in the San Francisco “Chronicle
” clarifies whether red meat “might not be as bad as we thought.
” It was written by Dr. Michael Martin
, Founder and President of Physicians Against Red Meat
(PhARM) and an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Martin commented on a group of studies published recently in the “Annals of Internal Medicine.”
The authors estimated that eating three fewer servings of red meat per week was associated with the 7% lower rate of death when all causes of mortality were considered. “These calculations suggest that cutting out a serving of red meat every day would correspond to a 16% drop in all-cause mortality.
“The authors — astoundingly! — concluded that these numbers are too small to justify advising Americans to cut back on red meat.”
But Dr. Martin counters that, “There are few interventions in medicine that show a measurable effect on death from all causes.” Yet here is a dietary change that could lead to a 16% drop in total mortality, and the authors call it a ‘small’ effect!”
Red meat’s adverse impacts on climate change need to be considered. “Red meat is a major contributor to the climate change that threatens the fundamental bases of human health,” wrote Dr. Martin. Our existence is dependent upon “survivable temperatures, clean air and water, and the control of infectious diseases.”
The recent fires in Australia, a beef-exporting country, offer a clear warning. Despite Australia’s drought and fires, “its many cows continued to consume 50 liters of water per day.”
Make no mistake: eating red meat is dangerous for people, and it’s equally dangerous for the Earth.