It comes originally from a Harvard press release about a published paper by no fewer than ten of their seekers after fame. The headline was Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early deaths. Here are some of the thoughts immediately provoked by the article:
The results claimed for the study are the precise opposite off what the paltry data suggest. It conforms to the propaganda promoted by one of the most aggressive of zealous lobby groups – the vegetarians. The claims come from the world’s most prolific source of junk epidemiology, the Harvard School of Public Health. It based on yet another trawl through the most notorious example of a data dredge, the Harvard Nurses Health Study (use our search box). It is presented, as always, as though it were a new study with a huge Trojan number. The level statistical significance claimed (relative risks of the order of 1.2 or less) would be rejected, even in a well regulated, randomised controlled trial. It marks further step in the decline of the Daily Telegraph as a disinterested reporter of matters of science (much less so the Sunday and online versions). The article even managed to squeeze in a plug for climate change. Such “results” fuel the columns of the junk dieticians that fill our newspapers and magazines. The publicity, as always, is aimed at politicians. The Telegraph sub-heading is Government urged to review guidance on diet as study highlights risk of cancer and heart disease. Some of us would prefer the Government to get out of our personal lives and choices, stop looking for petty diversions and get on with what really matters.