Plant based diets & mortality
* This week's note examines a paper about plant-based diets and mortality. The paper was based on a US population study. It looked at plant-based diets in three ways – intake of all plants, intake of 'healthy' plants and intake of 'unhealthy' plants.
* The researchers made three conclusions based on the three ways:
- Higher plant intake was associated with lower mortality.
- Higher healthy plant intake was associated with lower mortality.
- Higher UNhealthy plant intake was associated with higher mortality.
* This study had the usual flaws of population studies.
* The bigger flaw in this study was that other conclusions could be drawn from the data provided in the paper. A number of these directly contradicted the three conclusions made. For example, unhealthy plants were associated with both lower and higher mortality. Also, lower intake of animal foods was associated with higher mortality.
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