1,300 New Cases of Colorectal Cancer in Miami-Dade Each Year; Latinos at Higher Risk
WASHINGTON—A huge billboard near the new Marlins Park stadium will warn fans that eating hot dogs can increase their risk of colorectal cancer. The billboard, sponsored by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, reads “Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer” and directs readers to www.PCRM.org.
The billboard, timed to coincide with the April 4 home opener of the 2012 baseball season in Miami, features a cartoon drawing of a man in a hospital gown, hot dog in one hand, perplexed eyes fixed on his protruding behind. It is located at 600 N.W. 57th Ave. Download billboard image >
PCRM has also written to Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria asking him to post warning signs about the link between processed meat and colorectal cancer anywhere in the stadium that hot dogs are sold.
The billboard’s blunt language was prompted by a recent survey showing that a surprising number—39 percent—of Americans do not know where their colon is. The survey also found that 70 percent of Americans do not know what part of the body is more likely to get cancer as a result of eating processed meats frequently.
“A person who averages a hot dog each day increases his risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “And many people feed their children bacon for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, and pepperoni pizza for dinner. The cumulative risk of all that processed meat can be enormous.”
During hot dog season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs, and the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council projected last year that fans would eat more than 22 million hot dogs at ballparks.
Marlins Park stadium features All You Can Eat seats that offer an unlimited buffet, including hot dogs. There is even a hot dog recipe dedicated to the Marlins, created by Louie DiRaimondo, America’s self-professed “hot dog king” and owner of the Miami-based All-American Hot Dog Carts.
Miami-Dade has among the highest colorectal cancer rates among similar sized counties. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer among Hispanic Americans. About 1,300 Miami residents a year are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
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 new study from the Harvard School of Public Health says that a daily serving of processed meats, like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon, increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.