I remember a study that was in the press several (5?) years ago where a group (University of Chicago?) took similar populations from Chicago and somewhere in Africa and tracked their health for a good, long time. They had expected the Chicago folk to be healthier because they had medical care, but the long-term results showed that the Africans had less cancer and far less dementia as they got older. Can anyone point me to a site that has information about this study? Please?
Also, check that life expectancy is the same. Maybe the Americans have more cancer and dementia because the health care cures all the things that would have killed them off decades earlier otherwise. Does this qualify as `healthier’ or not? Let’s face it: you’re going to die. All health care can do is change what you die of.
The guy in charge of the study said on TV (not the most reliable medium) that “the only major differences we found were that the African population ate very little meat and they got exercise every day.”
Of course that wasn’t by choice, they couldn’t afford meat or any form of transportation except walking.
You have to get more specific than just “Africans,” which comprise many different tribes, nations, etc., with many different diets, exercise regimes, etc. For example, the Masai tribe in Kenya have a diet of milk mixed with blood. Even if the group noted ate “very little meat” that would not necessarily be a defining factor in the results. Exercise is very important, and what did they eat if not meat? That may also be important.
Also, it may not be the meat, per se, but the fact that if you eat meat to the exclusion of vegetables and fruits, you will be endangered by many health problems, including the more chance of getting cancer since you lack in your diet all those phytochemicals that are so important. The cruciferous vegatables, for example (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts) have been shown to be anticarcinogenic.