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Healthcare content2 min read What's the beef with the red meat study?

Some scientists now say there's no need to eat less red meat. What does this mean for your healthcare marketing?

October 7, 2019Karen Craddock, Senior Editor

Every so often a study is published that challenges long-time medical wisdom. That recently was the case with a study that appeared in Annals of Internal Medicine that refuted advice from major medical organizations—including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research—to eat less red and processed meat. Past research has linked a diet rich in those foods to an increase in heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems.

The authors of the current study, however, came to a different conclusion. They found that the health benefits of eating less red and processed meat were so small that adults didn't need to change their meat-eating habits.

As you can imagine, the health organizations and researchers who have warned about the health dangers of red and processed meat issued strong statements condemning the results of this new study. They also explained what they saw as its potential flaws.

Still, some scientists thought the study was sound and was based on the most comprehensive review of the evidence to date.

How might this study affect healthcare marketers?

You may have content on your website recommending that everyone eat less red and processed meats. Or maybe you've included that message many times in your healthcare organization's direct mail magazines. And you may be wondering, "Now what?"

First, know this: It's doubtful that any major health organization is going to change its dietary guidelines based on this one controversial study. The merits of the study will be debated, but changes in dietary guidelines—or any medical guidelines—are often slow. More studies will be required before recommendations on eating red and processed meat shift.

This study provides a great opportunity for healthcare marketers. You can use it to promote your doctors and dietitians. Have them discuss their thoughts about the study and healthy eating. The study would make an excellent topic for a blog post or a press release. You could also link to the study on your Facebook page and include a quote from one of your experts.

Finally, don't forget that medicine is a moving target. Staying up-to-date on the latest research—and being ready to respond, when needed—is part of our jobs as healthcare marketers.

We follow the news for you

The editorial team at Coffey receives a steady stream of medical news updates. It helps us stay current, and we share that knowledge with our clients. If you'd like to know more about our editorial team and how it might help you with your healthcare marketing goals, call us at 888.805.9101 or email us.