Is Red Meat “The Enemy”? AICR’s Take

raw meat on wooden plateContext.

It’s what every examination of the science of diet and health requires. For too long, authorities have demonized specific foods in an attempt to explain poor health outcomes, or anointed the latest “superfood” a panacea against disease.

That’s more or less the gist of a new article in the New York Times, “Red Meat is Not The Enemy.” The author suggests that experts historically “cherry-pick” data from individual studies to single out one nutrient or food in an attempt to determine its role in human health.

The Totality of Evidence

We agree that this can be a problem, and a misleading one. And that’s precisely why, at the American Institute for Cancer Research, when we perform our ongoing analyses of the global evidence on the connections between cancer risk and lifestyle (read: diet, weight, physical activity), we do so using systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses. (We call it the Continuous Update Project, or CUP.) Continue reading


Headline Headaches: Alcohol, Coffee and Liver Cancer

22007913_sLast week’s release of our latest report from the Continuous Update Project, on liver cancer, received excellent press coverage, for which we are grateful. We know how tough it can be to bottom-line the sometimes complicated findings from scientific research, and we appreciate the good work of those in the media who do so on a daily basis.

Any reporter will tell you that they write the story, but it’s their editor who writes the headlines. And today, headlines do the heavy lifting of driving web traffic and reader engagement. They are the gatekeepers who determine whether or not you click to get the full story, on skim past to the next headline. Which is why, when they’re misleading, they can do real damage.

Take this example, from a UPI story: “Coffee Erases Liver Cancer Risk Caused By Daily Alcohol Consumption.Continue reading


Bravo and Farewell, Doty!

Fruits and veggiesAll of us at AICR were saddened to hear that Cartoonist Roy Doty – a fixture in the cartooning world since the 1960s – died earlier this month. Since the 1980s, Doty (who never wanted to be called “Roy”) illustrated AICR’s good-news-letter and, more recently, the World Cancer Research Fund’s Great Grub Club newsletter to teach children about healthy eating and physical activity for cancer prevention.

Doty’s heartfelt support of AICR’s cancer prevention message to eat more plant foods inspired his fruit and vegetable characters Hedda Broccoli, Lois Lemon and Peter Pepper, as well as the humorous Professor Foodsmart and his dog Snack. His fHedda Brocriendly art helped donors relate to AICR and reached children with fun yet educational scenarios, puzzles, games.

Doty was a beloved and ever-imaginative friend to AICR whose instantly recognizable style and imagination earned him many awards from the National Cartoonists Society and a place among the best-known cartoonists. Continue reading