Don’t Fall For Silly Studies and Sensationalist Media Coverage

Every so often, the fitness and nutrition world gets turned on its head. At least that’s how it looks from the outside. Those of us on the inside have a much more tempered view.

What happens is that a fresh study will be published with the potential for attention-grabbing headlines. Of course, the media loves attention, so they’re bound to report the hell out of the study, often with dramatic interpretations of what are typically already tenuous conclusions.

One of my favorite examples of this phenomenon is all the hubbub about an observational study about red meat and well, death.

There were a bunch of sensationalist headlines and much hand-wringing, which fortunately sprung some well-written reviews (1,2,3,4).

I especially like these fun pictures from gnolls:


Those tectonic plates had no idea how many deaths they were causing when they bumped uglies.

The main take away here is that correlation does not imply causation. In a larger sense, just because a lot of media sources write about a study, it’s not an indication that the study is accurate, meaningful, or useful. As we saw above, the articles aren’t even always an accurate representation of the study, and the study results are not always an accurate reflection of reality.


What is red meat anyway?

I don’t normally pull from wikipedia, but this info is accurate, so why search further?

The main determinant of the nutritional definition of the color of meat is the concentration of myoglobin. The white meat of chicken has under 0.05%; pork and veal have 0.1-0.3%; young beef has 0.4-1.0%; and old beef has 1.5-2.0%.

So we call it red meat because it is literally red (when raw). It’s red because it has slightly more myoglobin. There is no reason to fear myoglobin consumption.

Red meat remains one of the healthiest foods for human consumption.

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About Kit Perkins

Kit Perkins is the Health and Fitness expert for MasculON. He’s spent years researching, practicing, training, and exploring diet and exercise for optimal health. He’s the founder of engrevo and GetManFit, and has ghostwritten for popular blogs in the sphere. He’s creative and well read, a forward thinker developing innovative ideas with an efficiency bent rarely seen in the fitness industry.
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