Survey of Children’s Hospitals Reveals Hazardous Hot Dogs

The Physicians Committee
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Survey of Children’s Hospitals Reveals Hazardous Hot Dogs

The Physicians Committee 2017 Hospital Food Report

 

Updated Sept. 6, 2017

The Physicians Committee’s 2017 Hospital Food Report reveals that 71 of 102 surveyed U.S. children’s hospitals continue to serve hot dogs, despite the World Health Organization declaring that processed meats, including hot dogs, are “carcinogenic to humans” and that there is no amount safe for consumption. Hot dogs are also the No. 1 choking risk for children.

A hospital was surveyed for the report if it was listed in U.S. News & World Report’s 78 Ranked Children’s Hospitals or Becker’s 25 Largest Children’s Hospitals. If a state did not have a hospital on either list, the largest children’s hospital in the state was included on the survey.

Parents whose children receive treatment in these hospitals have the expectation that the overall food environment is designed to help patients heal. According to a recent study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hospitals are ideal venues for modeling healthy eating—a healthful food environment reinforces clinical recommendations and complements hospitals’ missions to support community health.”

Hospitals that choose to ban processed meats—and instead offer plant-based options that help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes—model healthy eating and better support the health of patients, staff, visitors, and the surrounding community.

Colon Cancer Corridor


Deaths from Colorectal Cancer by State
Rates of dying from colorectal cancer also vary from state to state.

The health risks of consuming hot dogs and other processed meats—such as pepperoni, bacon, sausage, and deli meats—are well-documented. Despite the evidence against processed meats, 72 of the 102 surveyed children’s hospitals feature hot dogs on patient menus. Hot dogs serve as an indicator of a disease-promoting food environment.

Eleven of the hospitals that serve hot dogs to patients are located in the “colon cancer corridor,” a cluster of nine states from Ohio in the north to Louisiana in the south with the highest death rates from colorectal cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The “colon cancer corridor” includes Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. 

Children’s Hospital Located in
Colon Cancer Corridor

Serves
Hot Dogs? 

State

State Colorectal Cancer Death Rates*

West Virginia University Children’s Hospital

No

West Virginia

19.70

Batson Children’s Hospital

No

Mississippi

18.60

Children’s Hospital, New Orleans

Yes

Louisiana

18.30

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

No

Arkansas

17.60

Children’s Hospital of Alabama

Yes

Alabama

17.50

University of Southern Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital

No

Alabama

17.50

Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center

Yes

Oklahoma

17.30

Norton Children’s Hospital

No

Kentucky

16.80

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Yes

Tennessee

16.40

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital

Yes

Tennessee

16.40

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Yes

Tennessee

16.40

Akron Children’s Hospital

Yes

Ohio

16.10

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Yes

Ohio

16.10

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Yes

Ohio

16.10

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Yes

Ohio

16.10

*State Colorectal Cancer Death Rates per 100,000, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/state.htm

WHO declared processed meats, including hot dogs, “carcinogenic to humans” in 2015, classifying them in the same category as asbestos and tobacco products. The WHO report, published in Lancet Oncology, is based on research from more than 800 studies looking at the cancer-causing properties of processed meats. The authors highlighted a meta-analysis that found each 50 gram portion of processed meat—approximately the size of a typical hot dog—eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

“Particularly worrisome is the role of processed meats in children’s diets,” says Mariana C. Stern, Ph.D., a co-author of the WHO report. “Parents should know the risks associated with processed meats and learn to make alternative choices.”

A review published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2016 found that 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the risk for colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, death from heart disease, and diabetes by 18, 19, 24, and 32 percent, respectively. According to a recent study published in JAMA Surgery, colon cancer is increasing in young people (ages 20 to 34 years).

“There are many benefits associated with increasing fruits and vegetables and reducing red meats—and clear benefits from reducing processed meats, given their salt, fat, and carcinogen content,” says Dr. Stern. “A healthy diet should be part of the conversation between a physician and a patient.”

Conclusion
 

As evidence continues to link processed meats, including hot dogs, to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, hospitals should re-evaluate their food environments to remove these products and provide patients, staff, and visitors more disease-fighting fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Appendix A — Surveyed hospitals that serve hot dogs

 

Name

City

State

Colorectal Cancer Death Rates per 100,000*

1. 

Children's Hospital

New Orleans

La.

18.30

2.

Children's Hospital of Alabama at UAB

Birmingham

Ala.

17.50

3.

Children's Hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center

Oklahoma City

Okla.

17.30

4.

Renown Children's Hospital Renown Regional Medical Center

Reno

Nev.

16.80

5.

Sanford Children's Hospital

Sioux Falls

S.D.

16.60

6.

The Children's Hospital at Providence, Providence Alaska Medical Center

Anchorage

Alaska

16.60

7.

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

Memphis

Tenn.

16.40

8.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Nashville

Tenn.

16.40

9.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Memphis

Tenn.

16.40

10.

Akron Children's Hospital

Akron

Ohio

16.10

11.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Cincinnati

Ohio

16.10

12.

Nationwide Children's Hospital

Columbus

Ohio

16.10

13.

Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

Cleveland

Ohio

16.10

14.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Pa.

15.80

15.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Pittsburgh

Pa

15.80

16. 

Penn State Children's Hospital

Hershey

Pa.

15.80

17.

Advocate Children's Hospital

Oak Lawn

Ill.

15.70

18.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

Chicago

Ill.

15.70

19.

Sanford Children's Hospital

Fargo

N.D.

15.70

20.

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Kansas City

Mo.

15.50

21.

Saint Louis Children's Hospital

Saint Louis

Mo.

15.50

22.

SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center

Saint Louis

Mo.

15.50

23.

Children's Mercy Hospital

Wichita

Kan.

15.30

24.

Riley Children's Hospital

Indianapolis

Ind.

15.30

25.

Children's Hospital and Medical Center

Omaha

Neb.

15.00

26.

Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital

Charleston

S.C.

14.90

27.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Atlanta

Ga.

14.80

28.

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Augusta

Ga.

14.80

29.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJ University Hospital

New Brunswick

N.J.

14.60

30.

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Ann Arbor

Mich.

14.60

31.

Children's Medical Center of Dallas

Dallas

Texas

14.60

32.

Cook Children's Medical Center

Fort Worth

Texas

14.60

33.

Driscoll Children's Hospital

Corpus Christi

Texas

14.60

34. 

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

Grand Rapids

Mich.

14.60

35.

Texas Children’s Hospital

Houston

Texas

14.60

36.

Children's National Medical Center

Washington

D.C.

14.20

37.

Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children

Honolulu

Hawaii

14.20

38.

University of New Mexico Children's Hospital

Albuquerque

N.M.

14.20

39.

Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Portland

Ore.

14.10

40.

American Family Children's Hospital

Madison

Wis.

14.00

41.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Milwaukee

Wis.

14.00

42.

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Wilmington

Del.

13.80

43.

Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital

New York

N.Y.

13.80

44.

Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center

New Hyde Park

N.Y.

13.80

45.

Upstate University Golisano Children's Hospital

Syracuse

N.Y.

13.80

46.

University of Virginia Children's Hospital

Charlottesville

Va.

13.60

47.

All Children's Hospital

St. Petersburg

Fla.

13.40

48.

Holtz Children's Hospital at UM Jackson Memorial Medical Center

Miami

Fla.

13.40

49.

UF Health Shands Children's Hospital

Gainesville

Fla.

13.40

50.

Wolfson Children's Hospital

Jacksonville

Fla.

13.40

51.

St. Luke's Children's Hospital at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center

Boise

Idaho

13.20

52.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Calif.

13.10

53.

Children's Hospital of Orange County

Orange

Calif.

13.10

54.

Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center

Durham

N.C.

13.10

55.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford

Palo Alto

Calif.

13.10

56.

Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA

Los Angeles

Calif.

13.10

57.

Miller Children's Hospital

Long Beach

Calif.

13.10

58.

North Carolina Children's Hospital at UNC

Chapel Hill

N.C.

13.10

59.

Rady Children's Hospital

San Diego

Calif.

13.10

60.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals

San Francisco and Oakland

Calif.

13.10

61.

Valley Children's Hospital

Madera

Calif.

13.10

62.

Children's Hospital at Dartmouth

Lebanon

N.H.

13.00

63.

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Phoenix

Ariz.

13.00

64.

Boston Children's Hospital

Boston

Mass.

12.90

65.

Dana-Farber Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Boston

Mass.

12.90

66.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

St. Paul/Minneapolis

Minn.

12.80

67.

Mayo Clinic Children's Center

Rochester

Minn.

12.80

68.

Seattle Children's

Seattle

Wash.

12.70

69.

The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center

Portland

Maine

12.50

70.

Yale New Haven Children's Hospital

New Haven

Conn.

11.80

71.

Primary Children's Medical Center

Salt Lake City

Utah

10.90

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/state.htm

Appendix B – Surveyed hospitals that don’t serve hot dogs

 

Name

City

State

Colorectal Cancer Death Rates per 100,000*

1. Batson's Hospital for Children at University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson Miss. 18.60

2.

West Virginia University Children's Hospital

Morgantown

W.Va.

19.70

3.

University of Southern Alabama Children and Women's Hospital

Mobile

Ala.

17.50

4.

Norton Children's Hospital

Louisville

Ky.

16.80

5.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital

Cleveland

Ohio

16.10

6.

Children's Hospital of Illinois

Peoria

Ill.

15.70

7.

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital

Iowa City

Iowa

15.50

8.

The Children's Hospital Navicent Health

Macon

Ga.

14.80

9.

Children's Hospital of Michigan

Detroit

Mich.

14.60

10.

Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital

Houston

Texas

14.60

11.

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

Austin

Texas

14.60

12.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Dallas

Texas

14.60

13.

University of Vermont Children's Hospital

Burlington

Vt.

14.20

14.

Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Baltimore

Md.

14.00

15.

Children's Hospital at Montefiore

Bronx

N.Y.

13.80

16. 

Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center

Valhalla

N.Y.

13.80

17.

New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Komansky Children's Hospital

New York

N.Y.

13.80

18.

Winthrop University Hospital Children's Medical Center

Mineola

N.Y.

13.80

19.

INOVA Children's Hospital

Falls Church

Va.

13.60

20.

Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital

Orlando

Fla.

13.40

21.

Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital

Hollywood

Fla.

13.40

22.

Nicklaus Children's Hospital (Formerly Miami Children's Hospital)

Miami

Fla.

13.40

23.

Levine Children's Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center

Charlotte

N.C.

13.10

24.

UC Davis Children's Hospital

Sacramento

Calif.

13.10

25.

UC Davis Children's Hospital/Shriner's Hospitals for Children Northern California

Sacramento

Calif.

13.10

26.

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

Providence

R.I.

13.00

27.

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Boston

Mass.

12.90

28.

University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital

Minneapolis

Minn.

12.80

29.

Shodair Children's Hospital

Helena

Mont.

12.30

30.

Children's Hospital of Colorado

Aurora

Colo.

12.10

31.

Arkansas Children's Hospital

Little Rock

Ark.

17.60

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/state.htm