Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harvard Meat Study: Will red meat kill you?

A lot of media outlets have hyped the Harvard study on red meat.  Many bloggers more qualified than me have already addressed this issue, so I won't bother going into too much detail here.  Let's just say that this is an observational study based on food frequency questionnaires updated every 4 years.  Can you remember exactly what you ate last month?  Do you think these people could?  And remember this is an observational study, which means that it's is only capable of showing an association, not causation.  If you don't know what I mean by that, watch this video.  Below are some links to other blogs addressing this study.

Denise Minger "The lead researcher Frank Hu claimed the study "provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death," despite the fact that the study is innately incapable of providing such evidence." 

Gary Taubes "every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong. Not most times, but every time. No exception. Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000."

Peter Attia, MD "This is one irony of enormous observational epidemiology studies. Not only are they of little value, in a world of finite resources, they actually detracts from real science being done."

Zoe Harcombe "This study can at best suggest an observed relationship, or association. To make allegations about causation and risk is ignorant and erroneous."

Robb Wolf "Confounders galore. The higher meat consumption group tended to be overweight, smoked and was less active."
He also talks about this on his podcast.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Setbacks Are Only Temporary

I've been sitting on the sidelines lately.  I had to go back to the doctor a few weeks ago to have my back and shoulder re-evaluated.  Late last year I sustained a work related injury and, after a couple of months of physical therapy, I thought it was getting better.  The pain was less and the therapist and doctor told me that it would continue to get better with time, unfortunately they were wrong.  The pain never went away completely but slowly started increasing again.  I returned to the doctor and he thought that I should go see a chiropractor.  The chiropractor found that I had two rotated vertebrae and a rib out of place.  He also is recommending that the doctor send me to get some pictures of my shoulder, which the doctor is reluctant to do.  While all of this was going on I was told not to do my P90X or Insanity routines.  I've been staying on track with my nutrition and so far I haven't lost any muscle mass or gained any fat.  I'm sure I've lost some of my cardio endurance, but I can get that back.

Now I told you all of that to catch you up and tell you where I'm at now.  I've just been told that I can go back to doing P90X with limited weight and no pull-ups.  I am planning on starting slow with strength routines one day a week, cardio one day and stretching and yoga at least one day, but probably more.  I hope to be in shape for the Pacific Northwest Spartan Sprint in June.  Hopefully they won't find anything serious wrong with my shoulder that requires surgery.  That would be the only thing that could keep out of the race, unless I could out it off until after the race ;-)

Setbacks are only temporary, never give up on your goals!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blog Consolidation

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post.  I've been keeping myself busy with work, family and my studies. I don't know what ever made me think that I could keep up with three blogs.  I think that it's best if I drop back to one blog and suspend the other two.  Going forward I will only be updating Current Fitness, the other two blogs will be suspended indefinitely.  I'll continue to write about both fitness and nutrition, but all the posts will appear on Current Fitness.