Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Leading nutritional experts in the United States and the UK are fired up about new dietary recommendations claiming there's no need to reduce your red and processed meat intake for good health. "This is a very irresponsible public health recommendation," said Dr. Frank Hu, who chairs the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The new guidelines and five corresponding studies are part of a systematic analysis of existing research done by NutriRECS, a recently formed international group of nutritionists and health researchers. NutriRECS says its mission is to "produce trustworthy nutritional guideline recommendations based on the values, attitudes and preferences of patients and community members."
Bradley Johnston, the lead author of the guidelines and co-founder of NutriRECS, said the analysis failed to find "any certainty that eating red meat or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes or heart disease."
Therefore, the group's new guidelines make a "weak recommendation" based on "low-quality evidence" that most people don't need to reduce their red and processed meat consumption, Johnston said. "Why would you make a 'weak' recommendation about eating red and processed meat?" asked Stanford School of Medicine nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner. "I'm completely flabbergasted. I'm also really worried about how dangerous this is."
Johnston stressed that the new guidance, published Monday in the American College of Physicians' journal "Annals of Internal Medicine ," only considered the impact of red meat consumption on human health, excluding such issues as animal rights and the impact of meat consumption on the environment.
"It should be noted that the group does not represent any national or international organization or government," said Jim Mann, who is a professor of medicine and human nutrition at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
"Guidelines are generally issued by authoritative bodies rather than self-selected groups," said Mann, who is a member of the WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group.
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