Bacon-Rectal Cancer Billboard Posted Near Bacon Festival
A huge PCRM billboard near the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, last month warned that eating bacon can increase colorectal cancer risk.
The billboard featured an image of bacon strips sticking out of a cigarette pack. It read: “Warning: Bacon Can Cause Rectal Cancer.”
In 2010, 750 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival attendees consumed 1,200 pounds of bacon, or 30,000 strips—40 strips per person.
“Pigging out on bacon can really hurt your health,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Bacon is high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer. Like cigarettes, bacon should come with a warning label that helps people understand the health risk.”
Americans on average eat more than 18 pounds of bacon each per year. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, just 1.7 ounces of processed meats consumed daily—less than two strips of bacon—can increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer by 21 percent. No amount of processed meat is considered safe for consumption. Every year, about 143,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 53,000 die of it.
To learn more about the dangers of processed meats, visit PCRM.org/Health.