Report on protein-rich diet was misleading


Chew Guan Xun

Published: 4:12 AM, March 13, 2014

I refer to the report “Diet rich in animal protein could be as bad as smoking: US study” (March 7), which was adapted from The Guardian newspaper.

The sub-heading and first seven paragraphs reinforce the claim made in the study, whereas the featured quote and last three paragraphs provide a counter-argument.

Possibly, those who skimmed through the article or read only half of it have forged an association between the picture of an English Breakfast used for the report and the dangers of smoking.

The report was misguidedly presented. It did not convey the full information, as the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) had responded to the UK article.

To quote the NHS: “This latest unhelpful comparison with high-protein diets largely appears to be a triumph of PR spin.

“There are several reasons to be cautious when interpreting the results of this study, including that the researchers did not take into account important factors such as physical activity in their study.

“The claim in much of the media, that a high-protein diet in middle-aged people is ‘as dangerous as smoking’, is unsupported. We need to eat protein, we do not need to smoke.”