The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Amer­i­cans awak­ened last week to a new warn­ing (re­hashed and reis­sued ev­ery few years, ac­tu­ally) that eat­ing cheese­burg­ers will send them to the grave sooner rather than later.

Hours be­fore, yours truly wolfed down not one, but two cheese­burg­ers at the din­ner ta­ble of my al­most 92-year-old fa­ther, “Bob,” a re­tired FBI agent who I’ve watched con­sume ev­ery cut of meat (is cow’s tongue a meat?) in the same home for more than 50 years.

Dad for din­ner ate two cheese­burg­ers and a hot dog (and more than his share of curly fries, I ob­served), and he was still eye­ing the serv­ing tray. Step into his smoky kitchen any morn­ing of the week and you’ll find him grilling bologna in the iron skil­let along­side his runny eggs.

But I di­gress. The Amer­i­can Meat In­sti­tute (AMI) was quick to re­spond to this new­est red­meat study in the Archives of In­ter­nal Medicine, say­ing it “tries to pre­dict the fu­ture risk of death by re­ly­ing on no­to­ri­ously un­re­li­able self-re­port­ing about what was eaten in the pre­ced­ing five years.”

“This im­pre­cise ap­proach is like re­ly­ing on con­sumers’ per­sonal char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of their driv­ing habits in prior years in de­ter­min­ing their like­li­hood of hav­ing an ac­ci­dent in the fu­ture,” says the AMI, which in­sists meat prod­ucts are part of a healthy, bal­anced diet that ac­tu­ally can help con­trol a per­son’s weight.

In­deed, U.S. di­etary guide­lines en­cour­age Amer­i­cans to eat a bal­anced diet that in­cludes lean meat (the key word be­ing “lean,” or else risk liv­ing to my fa­ther’s ripe old age). Con­sider th­ese re­cent stud­ies:

A pa­per pub­lished in the March 11 Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion found veg­e­tar­i­ans had higher risk of colon can­cer than meat-eaters.

A study in this month’s peer­re­viewed Jour­nal of Nutri­tion by the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois and Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­sity finds a moderate-pro­tein diet can have a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive ef­fect on body com­po­si­tion as well as on car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease risk fac­tors, such as choles­terol.

Peo­ple on moderate-pro­tein di­ets re­ported they weren’t as in­ter­ested in snacks or desserts, and did not have food crav­ings.

Still con­fused? Con­sider one of the more pop­u­lar books of 2007, au­thored by

the ti­tle of which speaks for it­self: “Nanny State: How Food Fas­cists, Tee­to­tal­ing Do-Good­ers, Prig­gish Moral­ists, and other Bone­headed Bu­reau­crats are Turn­ing Amer­ica into a Na­tion of Chil­dren.”



re­fer­rals can be daunt­ing,” says Mr. Pare­des, who counts an 1,100-mem­ber en­force­ment staff.

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