Friday, 28 November 2008

Scare Story

I just wanted to draw attention to this story titled '"'Meat intake cut' on cancer fears" which would lead you to believe that people have cut their consumption of meat due to fear of cancer.
It also implies that meat consumption causes cancer. This is classic fuel for the anti-paleo brigade. You know the type of comment, when you tell someone that you eat a lot of meat/fat and little refined carbohydrate and they immediately 'prove' how dangerous this is with a link to a 'meat = cancer' headline....

A quick dip in to the story clarifies that we are talking about 'PROCESSED' meat - not quite the same thing as I would not classify 'processed meat' as paleo nor natural (once meat goes beyond simple preparation/butchering I rarely touch it - canned fish being an exception due, shamefully, to convenience).

Putting aside the 'association does not equal causation argument', the association between processed meat and cancer is then further diluted by the comment that;

"The cancer prevention report highlighted the evidence for the potential dangers of processed meat, but also pointed to other elements of diet and lifestyle which could either reduce or increase cancer risk."

Hmmmm, 'potential dangers', 'other elements'? All rather woolly. Bowel Cancer UK offer us a bit more detail;

"There is increasing evidence that lifestyle issues such as poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise are directly linked to an increased risk of the disease "

FM! Are we STILL making this point? EVERYONE in the West knows poor diet, obesity and a lack of exercise are linked to an increased risk of cancer/is unhealthful. What we disagree on is what constitutes a poor diet and the what constitutes appropriate exercise. We disagree what causes obesity and how we should address it. Bowel Cancer UK's advice above is a waste of zeros and ones. A better use of the World Cancer Research Fund's money would be to address some of the research in to the Lipid Hypothesis/Obesity proposed by Gary Taubes.

Obviously most readers who come by this blog will already have embraced the Paleo Way ( and if not why not!). Thus you'll be one step ahead of the 'World Cancer Research Fund' and 'Bowel Cancer UK', two steps ahead of the media, and sadly several more beyond joe-public.

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