Doctors will blitz an annual hot dog eating contest on Coney Island with a bold message: Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer.
Members of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which has in recent months put up billboards around the country warning Americans of the link between hot dogs and colorectal cancer, will be on site at the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July. They will hold up a banner that warns of the link between hot dogs and “butt” cancer or colorectal cancer, and distribute flyers urging spectators and contest participants to “save their buns.”
At last year’s contest, winner Joey Chestnut consumed 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Sixty-two Nathan’s Famous All-Beef Hot Dogs contain 2,085 mg of cholesterol and more than 1,162 grams of fat.
“It is possible that eating such an incredible amount of fat and cholesterol at one go could cause a person to keel over and die,” says Dr. Ulka Agarwal, PCRM’s chief medical officer. “In the long run, eating hot dogs and other processed meats like bacon, pepperoni, and sausage on a regular basis can also significantly increase the risk of colorectal and other cancers.”
The doctors have also written a letter to Wayne Norbitz, president of Nathan’s Famous, asking that Nathan’s offer participants a sudden-death legal waiver because the large amount of fat and cholesterol in hot dogs can increase a person’s heart attack risk.
Studies show that a person who averages a hot dog each day increases his risk of colorectal cancer by 21 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.