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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   Carl Weisbrod, Ph.D. | Linda McCartney

Linda McCartney & The Media
By Carl Weisbrod, Ph.D.

April 23, 1998: Linda McCartney, beloved wife of Beatle, Paul McCartney AND VEGETARIAN loses battle with breast cancer.

It's a front page story. But why the emphasis on Mrs. McCartney's vegetarian diet? From this, could one assume a vegetarian diet is no help in preventing breast cancer?

When running guru Jim Fixx died of a heart attack while out for an evening run, media sources asked "is running dangerous?"

Both Linda McCartney and Jim Fixx were wonderful people who wanted to do some good in the world. McCartney loved animals and wanted folks to stop eating them. It's sad that the press is using her death to support major advertising contributors such as the fast food industry.


The truth (and perhaps you will only read it here) is that both McCartney and Fixx benefited by their approach to health.  Insiders know that Fixx would have died years, even decades earlier without his exercise habits. Unfortunately his diet remained a serious problem--at the time of his death his serum cholesterol was dangerously high.

Think about this: If one survived solely on cola drinks they would fall under the definition of vegetarian. There is also a huge difference between a vegan vegetarian and a lacto-ovo vegetarian.

It is possible to be a vegetarian and still consume a diet too high in fat and maintain a high risk for certain types of cancer.

It is no secret that the diet followed by most developed countries is a major health risk, nonetheless this has not
been scientifically proven. But did you know that cigarette smoking wasn't a proven risk factor for lung disease until recently--even though smoking health risks have always been known. Does this seem like a contradiction?

To understand this paradox one needs to understand the language of research. For example, epidemiological studies, such as the landmark Framingham Heart Study, will point to disease causing factors but are never considered proof of anything. Usually it takes a carefully designed double-blind study to lead to a "consensus" (the scientific version of the word proof).

Does that mean epidemiological studies are not to be trusted?  You can die while waiting for proof about what is and what is not healthy.

Carl Weisbrod, Ph.D.

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