Hot-dog Eaters, Save Your Buns!
“Hot-dog Eaters, Save Your Buns.” That’s what PCRM’s banner at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest warned. Thousands of baseball fans flocking to the All-Star game in Kansas City, Mo., got a similar message. “Warning: Hot Dogs Can Strike You Out—For Good,” cautioned PCRM’s billboard linking hot dogs to colorectal cancer risk.
“Hot dogs can cause cancer. Like cigarettes, they should come with a warning label,” says PCRM chief medical officer Ulka Agarwal, M.D. “Just one hot dog a day increases a person’s colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. Add to that other processed meats people could be eating daily, like bacon, pepperoni, and sausage, and the health risk multiplies.”
Hot dogs are popular at ballparks. This season fans were expected to consume 20.5 million hot dogs as they watched the games, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. At Kauffman Stadium 8,000 hot dogs were sold on the day of this year’s opening game alone.
Consuming processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a large number of studies, including the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health says that a daily serving of processed meats, like one hot dog, sausage, or a few bacon strips, increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent.