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  1. News Release

  2. Jul 25, 2019

Doctors To Rally at White House, Urge Americans To ‘Break Up With Bacon’

World Health Organization Says Bacon Is 'Carcinogenic to Humans'

WASHINGTON—Doctors will gather at the White House on July 26 at 5:30 p.m. with an important message that can improve Americans’ health: “Break Up with Bacon!” The doctors will hold a large banner and pass out literature on the health risks of bacon.

The doctors are raising the alarm after a recent study concluded that just one slice of bacon a day can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The World Health Organization classifies bacon and other processed meat products as a Group 1 carcinogen linked to colorectal cancer. Many of the protesters are members of the Physicians Committee—a national nonprofit of 12,000 doctors.

Unfortunately, a new study published earlier this month in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that despite the WHO’s warning, Americans have not cut back on bacon and continue to lack awareness of the dangers of processed meat.

“Whether it’s bacon at the breakfast table, hot dogs at the ballpark, or deli meat in school cafeterias, processed meat products are still a staple in many Americans’ diets,” says Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “We’re here at the White House today hoping to raise awareness about the risks that these foods pose to our health.”

Colorectal cancer isn’t the only risk that comes from consuming processed meat. Those who consume the most processed meat also have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, America’s leading cause of death, according to a National Institutes of Health study of more than a half-million people. Eating 50 grams of processed meat—or a few strips of bacon—daily also increases the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and overall cancer mortality.

The doctors are among the hundreds of health care professionals from around the world who are gathering in Washington to participate in the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, where they will hear the latest research on nutrition and chronic diseases and learn how to prescribe a healthful plant-based dietary intervention to their patients. The conference is hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors that promotes good nutrition for disease prevention.

“Poor diet is now the leading cause of death and disease in the United States—having recently surpassed even smoking,” adds Dr. Barnard. “It’s inspiring to see so many health care professionals joining together to promote healthful diets.”

Media Contact

Jeanne Stuart McVey


Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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