Hot Dogs and Processed Meats: Cancer and Other Dangers

The Physicians Committee
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Hot Dogs and Processed Meats: Cancer and Other Dangers

Hot DogHot dogs can seriously damage your health and increase cancer risk.

Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year, as well as significant amounts of bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats. Each daily serving of processed meats increases the risk of dying prematurely by 20 percent, including from cancer, according to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health. Every year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 die of it.

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. Studies also show a strong link between other types of cancer and processed meats. An NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, for example, found that processed red meat was associated with a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer with every 10 grams of increased intake. A study in Taiwan showed that consumption of cured and smoked meat can increase children’s risk for leukemia. A study in Australia found that women’s risk for ovarian cancer increased as a result of eating processed meats.