VIDEO: Drop the Hot Dogs to Protect Kids from Cancer Risk
October 26, 2015 Dr. Neal Barnard
No parent or educator would knowingly send a student into a school where they are exposed to asbestos. But in most schools, students are endangered by something just as dangerous: processed meats. Bacon, sausage, pepperoni pizza, hot dogs, and other processed meat products have joined the World Health Organization’s list of cancer-causing products, along with asbestos, arsenic, and cigarettes.
WHO joins a rapidly growing list of organizations, doctors, scientists, and researchers raising the alarm over processed meats, which are linked to colorectal, prostate, and bladder cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
Back in 2008, the Physicians Committee’s Good Medicine magazine reported on the dangers of processed meats in school meals. We also released this public service announcement:
It’s a campaign we’re still working on in 2015. A report we released this summer found that the magazine of the School Nutrition Association, which represents school food service workers, continues to push schools to serve processed meats.
Of 106 ads in the magazine for unhealthful meat and dairy products, 23 were full-page ads for Domino’s or Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza. A Domino’s ad in one issue of the magazine even urges “Help us take a slice out of cancer,” despite the fact that a daily serving of pepperoni or other processed meat is linked to colorectal cancer risk.
It’s clear that more education is needed. That’s why the Physicians Committee created DropTheDog.org. The website offers infographics and fact sheets on the dangers of processed meats, as well as cancer-prevention tips and recipes.
It’s time for schools to drop the hot dogs—and pepperoni and bacon and sausage—from school meals to protect kids from future cancer risk.
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