Does meat cause CVD & T2D?
* An umbrella review was conducted with the aim of examining all evidence related to meat intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Meat intake was examined as UNprocessed red meat, processed meat and mixed processed meat and UNprocessed red meat together.
* The novelty of this review was that it first found associations from all available studies and then it examined the findings from these studies against the Bradford Hill criteria.
* The Bradford Hill criteria were established in 1965 as a way of testing if a relationship might be causal.
* The two main findings of the paper were:
1) a causal relationship between red and processed meat intakes and CVD risk was unlikely.
2) there was potential for a causal relationship between processed meat intake and mixed unprocessed red meat and processed meat intake and T2D.
* No claims were made for any meat and CVD. No claims were made for UNprocessed red meat and CVD or T2D.
* The potential for causation with processed meat and mixed unprocessed red meat and processed meat was weak beyond credibility. It relied on overriding the first and most important Bradford Hill criteria – strength of association. It relied on suggested causation in only half of the other eight criteria and these were easily challenged.
* This was a well conducted and presented paper – with meat industry funding – which suggested some findings against meat and it shouldn’t have.
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