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Watch Your Butts, Hot Dog Fans

Baseball fans eat more than 22 million hot dogs at ballparks during baseball season. PCRM's new “Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer” billboard outside of Marlins Park in Miami warns opening-day attendees that hot dogs can damage their health. The blunt language was prompted by a survey showing that 39 percent of Americans do not know what the colon is.

Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer: Processed meats increase colorectal cancer risk

The billboard, which also appeared in Chicago, features a cartoon drawing of a man in a hospital gown, hot dog in one hand, perplexed eyes fixed on his protruding behind. Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year, as well as significant amounts of bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats. Every year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 die of it.

“Colon cancer attacks 140,000 Americans every year, killing about 50,000, and processed meats are a clear-cut contributor,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., PCRM nutrition education director. “Many Americans have no idea that eating hot dogs and bacon raises their risk of this deadly disease.”

“It is a bit surprising that we have to simplify the message to this extent,” Levin says. “Hopefully the information will get through.”

One in three Americans does not know what part of the body is more likely to get cancer as a result of eating processed meats frequently, according to a recent telephone survey of the U.S. adult public conducted by ORC International of Princeton, N.J., sponsored by PCRM. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed did not know that “colon” is another name for the large intestine.

Consuming processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a large number of studies, including the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Studies also show a strong link between other types of cancer and processed meats. An NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, for example, found that processed red meat was associated with a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer with every 10 grams of increased intake.

To learn more about the dangers of processed meats, visit PCRM.org/Health.



 
 

PCRM Online,
April 2012

 
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