I watched Horizon on BBC last night.
According to the blurb –
In the first of two programmes this week investigating the truth about meat, Michael Mosley asks if those summer barbecue favourites – burgers and sausages – are as bad as some people think. He puts the latest scientific findings to the test on a high-meat diet to discover whether eating beef and bacon every day will do him any harm.
I found the programme to be quite fascinating.
What intrigued me the most was the language used. I have never heard so much repetition – "may cause", "could", "might", "risk factor", "increase chances" – they were all there and many more of the usual suspects too. Nothing actually caused anything. Everything might lead to a slight increased risk. But then that's modern "studies" and epidemiology for you.
Essentially what the programme boiled [grilled?] down to was that red meat might be bad for you and there again it mightn't. Veganism was very healthy but it might have health risks. Lean red meat might cause cancer or it may protect against cancer. They quoted one huge study done by Boston University that proved conclusively that red meat was a significant factor in reducing life expectancy. They quoted another huge study from Europe [EPIC} that proved conclusively that it wasn’t. I found it rather strange though that those two studies contradicted each other [and thus canceled the hypothesis] yet they kept referring afterwards about the "proof" that meat causes cancer.
Naturally the presenter who had stuffed himself with burgers for the duration had aftereffects. Surprisingly they weren't that significant but that didn't stop the gasps and the exclamations ["You have gained an extra kilo in weight!!" gasp! horror! "and your cholesterol is up!" O.M.G. This is terrible!].
Towards the end they talked about overall "lifestyle" causes of premature death. Being a man is the big killer. Four years off my lifespan because I have dangly bits. They mentioned smoking, drinking, eating processed foods, using salt and a few other things. As I do all those things, I added up the result and was somewhat unnerved to discover that I died three years ago.
Am I going to change my lifestyle as a result?
Let's just say that I enjoyed a large juicy steak while watching the programme, and washed it down with a couple of large drams [thereby qualifying myself as a binge drinker] and smoked a pleasant pipe-full.
I might gain myself an extra four years of debauchery though if I have a sex change?