Guest / Limited Access /

Most of us who like to rag on the absurdity of the health and wealth gospel are, I dare say, devout adherents of a sister faith: the health gospel. Take out wealth, and we're okay with being materialists. And I speak autobiographically.

Tuesday's Washington Post announced, "Daily Red Meat Raises Chances of Dying Early." That got this steak lover's attention. Apparently the National Institutes of Health got together with the AARP and conducted a Diet and Health Study. They started in 1995, and began following over half a million predominantly white people from the ages of 50 to 71. Not surprisingly, nearly 48,000 men and over 23,000 women died in the following 10 years.

What did surprise some was the finding that, taking into account smoking and physical activity, those who ate the most red meat—a quarter of a pound a day—were more likely to die during the study, and most of these died from heart disease and cancer.

Even an amateur scientist can question some of the methods and conclusions of the study (e.g., one can assume that diet and habits and genetics may offer more insight as to why red meat eaters in their later years are susceptible to heart disease). But despite my skepticism, I'll probably eat less red meat than ever (after already cutting back!). Because now every time I sit down to a polish sausage or hamburger, I will not be able to count it as joy. The New York steak sitting gloriously before me will not signal a gift of God but a temptation of the Health Devil and the Grim Reaper.

This latest study is one of many that have bombarded us for decades. The bottom line is that food of all sorts—but especially food that we have traditionally enjoyed the most, the lusty foods dripping with sweetness ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal
The Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal
Alan Jacobs explains why the nearly 500-year-old Anglican prayer book retains its influence, and why it should appeal even to (non-Anglican) evangelicals.
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickYou Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
You Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
It's not a travel guide. And Colton Burpo isn't the first Christian to have an ecstatic experience.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.