I love the heavy-handed pronouncements made in medical studies purporting to tell us what to eat to avoid getting sick—after which the readers of whatever publication is cluelessly regurgitating the study’s conclusions exhibit greater scientific expertise than the scientists themselves.
In fact, they practically compose my column by themselves. It’s a writer’s dream come true.
Here’s the latest Exhibit A in a long line of such occurrences: A new study, reported in the British newspaper The Daily Mail yesterday, trumpeted the following news: Eating too much meat ‘raises risk of diabetes’ even if they eat lots of fruit and vegetables too.
(Apparently, British tabloids have dispensed with punctuation altogether).
“Meat-lovers could be at higher odds of diabetes—even if they eat lots of fruit and vegetables,” the article began. “A long-term study of more than 66,485 French women who had their health tracked for 14 years has linked meat, cheese and other ingredients of an ‘acidic diet’ with type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes. The women who ate the most acid-forming foods were 56 percent more likely to develop the condition than those whose who ate the least,” according to a study appearing in the clinical journal Diabetologica.
“[Type 2 diabetes] is usually linked to obesity and sugary foods,” the newspaper stated, “but the latest study points the finger at meat and other foods that produce acid after being digested. Some 1,372 women had developed diabetes by the end of the study and diagnoses were particularly common in those with acidic diets. These include meat, cheese, fish, bread and soft drinks.”
That conclusion is horribly incorrect, which a slew of Daily Mail readers sharply pointed out, and which we’ll get to in a just a moment.
Telling the Big Lie
Type 2 diabetes, of course, is the form of the disease that accounts for about 90 percent of all cases, 2.9 million people in Great Britain and about 16 million Americans. It is a serious disease, a leading cause of disability and death and results in health costs running into the hundreds of billions.
But here’s the big lie, perpetuated by the national non-profits who make their living from campaigning to “find a cure” for diabetes: They utterly fail to acknowledge the real cause of the epidemic: the food we shove into our stomachs every day.
Instead, here’s the official explanation from the American Diabetes Association and NIH’s National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: “Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity and race/ethnicity.”