The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the health data of nearly 132,000 people since the 1980s. The data included information about their diet as well as how much and what types of proteins they consumed.They then looked at health outcomes of the participants and, after adjusting for other diet and lifestyle factors, found that high intake of animal proteins (meat, eggs, dairy) was associated with a greater risk of premature death than when the protein intake came from plant sources (breads, cereals, pasta, beans, nuts and legumes).
Gosh, better stop eating all that meat and switch to vegetable protein, right? Er, wrong.
There was however a caveat to the findings. The increased risk among meat eaters disappeared among those who had a healthy lifestyle – they had to also drink alcohol or smoke, be sedentary, obese or underweight.
So, what their study actually found was that smoking, drinking alcohol, getting no exercise and being too fat or too thin is bad for you, but eating meat or not makes no difference. That's not a caveat, that's their research finding being blown out of the water.
Next on Stuff: a story about someone whose car was stolen while they were in the supermarket, with the caveat that they found the car elsewhere in the car park a minute later.