Junk (food) science: BBC says your sausage and bacon are killing you but offers no proof
THE Daily Mail states: “Processed meat ‘is to blame for one in 30 deaths‘.” Maybe. Maybe not.
The BBC echoes this ‘news’: “Processed meat ‘early death’ link.”
Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young…. Diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths.
It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health.
Or maybe it’s the other way around: the fat and the smoking eat more processed meat?
After adjusting for smoking, obesity and other confounders we think there is a risk of eating processed meat.
We’re then told:
One in every 17 people followed in the study died.
From eating burgers? Maybe. The death rate due to cancer, heart disease or respiratory problems was a ratio of 1 in 27. But the BBC doesn’t tell you that.
In total, nearly 10,000 people died from cancer and 5,500 from heart problems.
Also, 1,068 died from respiratory diseases.
But we don’t know why? We’re not told their genetics. We’re not even told if any of them died in accidents.
The study featured 465,000 people. In all, 26,344 of the participants died over the course of the study. Alan notes:
There was around a total of 1.28 million deaths from cancer across the EU in 2011….so maybe 1400 deaths could be possibly linked to processed meat by this study….3000 die every year in the UK alone in car crashes.
Such are the facts.