hotdogbillboard625jul1A new report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) confirms that adults and children who consume processed meats (meats preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives – ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages) are at risk of developing cancer and other significant health issues.

The collective scientific evidence linking processed meat consumption to cancer and other health issues is so overwhelming that the American Institute for Cancer Research(AICR) recommends, not just consuming less, but avoiding processed meats altogether.

The latest report stresses consumer awareness and, with the start of a new school year, encourages parents to choose healthier alternatives.

Why the concern:

  • According to the WCRF and the AICR, risk of colorectal cancer increases, on average, by 21 percent for every 50 grams (1.7 oz) of processed meat consumed daily. A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of one typical hot dog.
  • Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year – an average of 70 hot dogs per person.
  • 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 the risk of stomach cancer 15-38 percent.
  • 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.
  • Other health issues involved – Doctors are seeing more thickening of the arteries in children, particularly those who are obese or have high cholesterol.
  • More than 16 percent of children and adolescents are overweight. One in three will develop diabetes at some point in his or her life.
  • Lifetime cancer risk is now one in three for women, and one in two for men.

Men, especially middle-aged men, eat more processed pork than women. Higher-income Americans eat less of it than middle- and low-income citizens. Rural Americans eat more than urban Americans. Blacks eat more than whites. And Midwesterners eat the most per capita.

As well as recommending people avoid processed meat, WCRF also recommends limiting intake of red meat to 17 oz. (cooked weight) per week. This is because there is also convincing evidence that red meat increases risk of bowel cancer.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/Story?id=8350330&page=2
http://www.pcrm.org/health/pdfs/cp_processed_meat_report.pdf
http://www.cancerproject.org/media/pdfs/ProcessedMeatsGM08SM.pdf

A Marshall University study has found that snack-size quantities of English walnuts appears to slow cancer growth in mice. Researcher W. Elaine Hardman of Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine set up the study to determine whether mice that ate walnuts had slower breast cancer growth than a group of mice that ate a more typical American diet. Read the rest of this entry »

“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. 

http://www.cancerproject.org/media/pdfs/ProcessedMeatsGM08SM.pdf

According to an article recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, diets higher in vegetables and fruits and lower in foods common in Western diets can significantly reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer.

Researchers from Canada and the United States recently conducted a clinical study to further explore the potential relationship between dietary habits and development of gastric cancer. The study included 1,169 patients who had been diagnosed with gastric cancer and 2,332 people who did not have gastric cancer.

  • A Western diet, characterized by consumption of soft drinks, processed meats, refined grains, and sugars, was associated with a 86% increased risk of developing gastric cancer among women and a 44% increased risk among men.
  • Diets that included increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish were associated with an approximately 60% decreased risk of developing gastric cancer among women and an approximately 54% decreased risk among men.

These results provide further evidence that dietary habits may significantly impact risk for developing various cancers.

Source: cancerconsultants.com

The next cancer drug might come straight from the grocery store, according to new research published in the November 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal. In the study, French scientists describe how high and low doses of polyphenols have different effects. Most notably, they found that very high doses of antioxidant polyphenols shut down and prevent cancerous tumors by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth. Polyphenols are commonly found in red wine, fruits, vegetables, and green tea.

At relatively low doses, the French researchers found that the same polyphenols play a beneficial role for those with diseased hearts and circulatory systems by facilitating blood vessel growth. Read the rest of this entry »