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March 2012

Red meat: making decisions on 'imperfect data'

We’ve been talking here about the latest study looking at the relationship between eating red meat and health – largely well reported in the press this week, but raising some familiar issues about the conclusions that can be drawn from epidemiological studies.

One of our dieticians, Ursula Arens, commented:

“Data on diet can never meet the  gold standards of drug research, and yet it is very important to make sensible judgements on ‘imperfect’ data. Whatever the complications of the statistics and study methodology, the bottom line from this study, that eating meat is healthy 2-3 times per week but not 2-3 times per day, is a valid conclusion from the data.”

More on this in The Independent’s overview and Ursula discussing this on BBC’s Today programme.