Veggie Ancestors May Cause Cancer

Eric Auberger

Article Summary

“If your ancestors were vegetarians, it may affect your cancer risk” was written by Arden Dier, and published on March 31, 2016. The article was found in the health section of Researchers at Cornell University have found in a recent study that people with ancestors who lived a vegetarian life style are likely to have developed a gene mutation that helps to compensate for a lower fatty acid intake. Most people that have developed this mutation are Asians and Africans. This mutation may have helped many years ago, but now as diets have changed those with the mutation may hurt their bodies due to fatty acid overload. In study researchers identified the FADS2 when comparing people from India, primarily vegetarians to meat eaters from Kansas. This mutation that has developed in current meat eaters raises the risk for heart disease, colon cancer, and chronically high inflammation.

Article Critique

As stated above the article was written by Arden Dier who works for Newser, a news gathering site. Arden Dier studied Journalism at the University of Western Ontario and has experience in the fields of social media, sports writing, and condensing information from other sources for her own articles. As seen from her credentials, which were only available on her LinkedIn account, Dier does not display a history of anything in field of medicine or nutrition. Throughout her article Dier does use hyperlinks to cite where her information is coming from. What is interesting is the Dier uses sources from two separate continents to support her article. In the beginning of the article she cites from two separate Australian news companies, the “Australia Network News” and the Australian. She uses information from these two sources for explaining how the mutation can cause fatty acid overload. Later in the article Dier cites from the Metro, a news company based out of the United Kingdom, to explain the purpose of the FADS2 gene. Up until this point Dier had not mentioned a name for the gene in the article, but upon further investigation the FADS2 gene is the same mentioned throughout. After having looked into Dier’s credentials and seeing nothing health related I was skeptical as to whether or not this article was providing solid information. But after following some of her citations and seeing repetition of ideas throughout that supported her information I feel that her article does provide good information; especially since she does use research studies within that support her claims.


  1. If your ancestors were vegetarians, it may affect your cancer risk | Fox News. (2016). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from
  2. Bad news if your ancestors are vegetarians but you eat meat. (2016). Retrieved April 08, 2016, from