OPINION: Part 2 – NZ Heart Foundation Recommendations – Fact or Fiction in 2020?

Today I talk about epidemiology research. This is the type of research used to create public health food policy guidelines. This is the kind of research the NZ Heart Foundation has referenced in their position paper. The four studies I have looked at so far, have stated the there was no association or minimal association between eating red meat and the risk of heart disease or cancer. I wonder why the NZ Heart Foundation keep claiming there is a risk?

While epidemiological studies may be helpful identifying an association between a disease and potential risk factor, they cannot make claims to causation. Further well-controlled interventional trials are important to verify the strength of any associations.

There are also many well documented issues with this type of research. I talk about some of these in this video:

  • The difference between association and causation
  • Confounding factors
  • Healthy and unhealthy user bias
  • The use of relative risk rather than actual risk to inflate the effect of the results

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