Chew on this: US processed meat consumption and disease

August 13, 2008

“There are two things you don’t want to see being made: sausage and legislation.” German Chancellor Otto von Bismark

  • In 2006, Americans consumed more than 1.5 billion pounds of hot dogs.
  • Analysts estimate the processed meat industry will generate $22.49 billion in annual sales by 2009.
  • Sixty-two percent of all Americans eat smoked ham, bacon, or some form of processed pork—the average person eats 32 pounds of it a year.

“Just one ounce of processed meat per day increases your risk of stomach cancer by 15 percent to 38 percent.” Source: Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Processed meat consumption and stomach cancer risk: a meta-analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Aug 2;98(15):1078-1087.

Every 1.7 ounces of processed meat consumed per day raises colorectal cancer risk 21 percent. Source: World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: AICR, 2007.

A Harvard study of more than 40,000 health professionals showed that those who ate hot dogs, salami, bacon, or sausages two to four times per week increased their risk of diabetes by 35 percent. Those who ate these products five or more times per week experienced 50 percent increased risk. Source: Van Dam RM, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. Dietary fat and meat intake in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes in men.


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