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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE October 5, 2011

Debate-Themed Billboard Warns Las Vegas of Hot Dog-Cancer Link

Frowning Wiener in Red, White, and Blue Ad Highlights Risks of Processed Meats

WASHINGTON—A huge billboard near the Venetian hotel, host to an upcoming Republican presidential debate, warns Las Vegas residents and visitors that chowing down on hot dogs could seriously damage their health and increase their risk of colorectal cancer. The billboard is sponsored by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Frowning Wiener in Las Vegas Ad Highlights Risks of Processed Meats

Located at 3025 S. Las Vegas Blvd., the billboard features an image of a hot dog wearing a mustard frown, against a blue and white background. The bold red type reads: “There’s no debate: Hot Dogs Cause Cancer” and directs readers to

“Hot dogs gamble away your most precious asset—your health,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Processed meats like hot dogs can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer. Like cigarettes, hot dogs should come with a warning label that helps people in Las Vegas understand the health risk.”

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, just one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about the amount in one hot dog) consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent. Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year, as well as significant amounts of bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats.

Every year, about 143,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 53,000 die of it. Nevada has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer deaths in the country. Las Vegas has the nation’s highest heart disease death rate.

Studies show a strong link between other types of cancer and processed meats. An NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study 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.

A review in the journal Diabetologia found that those who regularly eat processed meats increase their risk for diabetes by 41 percent.

If you have questions or want to interview Susan Levin, contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or

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.

Media Contact:
Jeanne McVey


Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

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