Report: Meat is self-murder

An apple a day doesn’t really keep the doctor away. If that were true, Ellijay wouldn’t need a hospital.

Down on Auburn avenue: The other white meat -- in cloven hoof form.

Down on Auburn: The other white meat -- in cloven hoof form. (Steven H. Walker)

However, a new medical report indicates a hot dog a day may hasten the arrival of the undertaker.

According to a Harvard study, a steady diet of tubular meat, bacon or hamburgers raises the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer by as much as 21 percent.

Of course, no one, except perhaps the late, great Ignatius J. Reilly considers eating a hot dog a day, and the toll it took on his woefully inadequate pyloric valve is a lengthy indictment on the dangers of processed meats (and the occasional cheese dip).

The study tracked 121,000 middle-aged men and women for up to 28 years. About 20 percent of survey participants died during the study.

CNN reports, on average, each additional serving of red meat the participants ate per day was associated with a 13% higher risk of dying during the study.

Why is meat, particularly processed meat, so bad for you? Several reasons: high saturated fat content, the potential creation of carcinogens during grilling (more bad news!), and, in the case of processed meats, the presence of preservatives that seem to promote cancer.

Moderation, as boring as it is, seems to be key to a healthy diet.

A National Pork Board spokesperson said what all bacon fans want to hear:

“It’s hard to pinpoint one cause for disease,” Ceci Snyder said. “People should eat more fruits and vegetables definitely. People should exercise more. When they villainize one food, it doesn’t help people too much.”

I guess I’ll skip that Baconator Double for lunch.

42 comments Add your comment


March 13th, 2012
8:16 am

This report “makes sense” – but on the other hand, I tend never to accept any report of this type unless I know who paid for it. The National Pork Board spokesperson quoted above had the best comment that I read to say …. moderation, well-balanced diet regimen, and daily exercise seems logical as the best route to take. And then add to it good genes and no silly life-threatening hobbies, as a current 70 year-old I should make it to 80 with my present enjoyable quality of life. That’ll be good enough.


March 13th, 2012
8:18 am

Moderation – in everything, people. That is best policy.


March 13th, 2012
8:19 am

I recently had a delicious steak at Applebee’s the other day. I believe it was so good because I hadn’t had a steak in so long. I have bacon once a week at Golden Corral and generally eat chicken sandwiches when I eat fast food. But I don’t want to live 13% longer.

Doris M

March 13th, 2012
8:32 am

Previous reports said not to drink coffee — now coffee is good for you. Said not to eat eggs — now eggs are good for you. Said not to eat certain candy — now dark chocolate is good for you. I’m just going to follow @JW — moderation in everything. Enjoy your life, be active, eat in moderation, don’t smoke. You’ll be okay because one thing is for sure: you can’t make it out of life alive.


March 13th, 2012
8:33 am

I’m skeptical about this – my sister only ate one hotdog a day from quiktrip for 10 years and she lived to a ripe old age of 46


March 13th, 2012
8:38 am

all signs point to limiting the amount of red meat you eat…really all meat.


March 13th, 2012
8:38 am

Ha! Great post Doris M.


March 13th, 2012
8:39 am

Read a book called, “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.. He was a research scientist who was with the National Institute of Health. It outlines pretty clearly the reason “why” it is bad. I will tell you this though, after reading it, you will wish you hadn’t. As they say, ignorance is bliss!


March 13th, 2012
8:40 am

All you folks preaching moderation, have you seen the average American lately? When 2/3 of people in this country are overweight or obese, I think the moderation argument gets tossed out the window.


March 13th, 2012
8:45 am

I read the results of these studies with a health degree of skepticism. All too often the people doing the studies have an agenda. Even (especially) when done by Harvard.


March 13th, 2012
8:59 am

Eat healthy live longer, eat good die happy.


March 13th, 2012
9:04 am

Just read a cardiologist editiorial on Signs of the Times yesterday and he called this notion of eating a low fat diet as a way to control cholesterol a big fat lie. According to him it is not FAT that causes a spike in cholesterol but it’s sugar, unrefined flour, and carbs that are the culprit. He says the best diet is a Paleo (or something like that) type diet. So who do you believe when the doctors/scientist themselves do not know?

Like others have stated I will eat anything in moderation. But the key to healthy living for me is just living a God-centered life.

Alan H

March 13th, 2012
9:10 am

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to ZERO”.


March 13th, 2012
9:17 am

just look at what the fat people are doing and don’t do that, not hard to find a fat person huh


March 13th, 2012
9:24 am

So they followed 120,000 middle aged people for 28 years and were surprised when some of them died?


March 13th, 2012
9:45 am

What about grass-fed red meat? It has higher levels of omega 3s and is not in the “processed” category like the others. I think it comes down to all the chemicals we put in our foods/red meats like nitrates, which have been linked to increased risk of death. I don’t know that “all red meat” is the culprit. I’m all for eating clean.


March 13th, 2012
9:49 am

I love when correlation equals causation. Not to mentiom I’m sure every independent variable was carefully controlled, and everything eaten was strictly verified. We need real studies where people and their diets are monitored 24/7. Expensive, yes, but otherwise we’ll never know. Of course Big Food, Big Pharma, and the middle men selling our kids colored cardboard boxes full of junk food would never finance that.

The China Study?

March 13th, 2012
10:29 am


I also read “The China Study.” While there is very interesting science in it, there really isn’t much. The author keeps citing the same data over and over.

The obvious paranoia in the last half of the book pretty much negates any claims to objectivity by the author.


March 13th, 2012
10:42 am

I don’t worry about this survey. It doesn’t apply to me. All the hot dogs I eat every day don’t contain any red meat at all – just fillers and stuff. I’m not even sure what that means.

And I also follow the idea of moderation, moderation of everything. Even moderation of moderation. Sometimes I just have a big blowout!!

I’ll see you guys on the other side!

Frank Furter

March 13th, 2012
10:43 am

My time has come…I cant give up The Varsity dogs!!


March 13th, 2012
10:54 am

I read the story of these tests and give it about as much credence as the Coke story last week…..1,000-cans per day needed to reach the carcinogenic levels of their lab-rats. Yup, bad today, maybe good tomorrow. Too many people doing too many tests.


March 13th, 2012
10:54 am

In the beginning God gave man fruits, vegetables, nuts, & grain to eat. (Genises) Later in Leviticus 11
he added meat to mans diet to shorten their lives because Eve sinned.
That is just now being proven by man. God told us a long time ago. For instance shrimp is pure
cholestrol and it is unclean in Leviticus. We were told long ago. Take heed.


March 13th, 2012
11:06 am

How about beans and rice? That’s about all I can afford in the Great Recession.


March 13th, 2012
11:07 am

Atlanta Allen

March 13th, 2012
11:08 am

And two new books by Cardiologist recommend limiting or eliminating wheat and certain carbs and replacing them with veggies, proteins and fat.


March 13th, 2012
11:53 am

The situation with nitrites is not new news, I recall first reading about the cancer connection a couple of decades ago. It is simply unbelievable that food processors are still allowed to use that stuff.


March 13th, 2012
11:54 am

These studies make one wonder how our loved elders lived so long on their diet. Of course, they did much more physical labor. I would like to see exercise as a moderating variable.


March 13th, 2012
11:57 am

I am convinced that eating meat is the same as playing Russian roulette. You wonder what is more corrupt the meat packing industries or the products that they sell.


March 13th, 2012
12:11 pm

If these so called “additives” promote cancer..why are they still being used??!! DUH!


March 13th, 2012
12:21 pm

After eating red and green grapes, blueberries, organic banana,I am craving a Quik Trip hotdog (which I rarely ever eat) after reading this article!


March 13th, 2012
12:30 pm

Red meat is not bad for you; but green meat, that’s really bad for you

Mr. Phil

March 13th, 2012
12:55 pm

What crappy research! Did they adjust for other control factors i.e. cigarette smoking, drug use, alcohol abuse, family history, lack of aerobic activity, hell PET DANDER? This study sounds very unscientific.


March 13th, 2012
1:19 pm

Just more media controlling hype. Increase your fiber intake. Keep a food eating journal and you can see where you err. I’m heading to a weiner in my fridge right now. This article made me hungry too! It’s a turkey dog.

Bill Kilpatrick

March 13th, 2012
1:29 pm

Do any of you people know how to read? How about reading the actual findings rather than this spoon-fed oversimplified nonsense? Allow me to quote the actual study from the Archives of Internal Medicine:

“Men and women with higher intake of red meat were less likely to be physically active and were more likely to be current smokers, to drink alcohol, and to have a higher body mass index (Table 1). In addition, a higher red meat intake was associated with a higher intake of total energy but lower intakes of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”

Still think it’s the red meat?


March 13th, 2012
1:42 pm

Its all wrong…go Paleo. Thats where the research make sense.


March 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

It’s always your favorite sins that will do you in


March 13th, 2012
2:25 pm

Breathing will kill you too.

Jane wayne

March 13th, 2012
6:41 pm

So the low carb medical data is all wrong…not!


March 14th, 2012
12:53 pm

Has to be said

March 19th, 2012
4:39 pm

Meat is “self-murder”? Isn’t this the same thing as suicide?

Do you think there is an agenda at work here?

Larry Whittington

March 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

Fire up Netflix and take a look at the movie “Forks Over Knives”. Excellent presentation of how meat just ain’t good for humans.

MaryHolloway Love

April 2nd, 2012
6:53 pm

A small town in Italy just OUTLAWED DEATH!!! (Truly no joke.) How they intend to enforce this law is not reported, but the last sentence in the article was the best: “Death could not be reached for a comment for this article.” I want to move there!!!