Processed Meat Causes Cancer
So the news is out. The grapevine has been full of rumours that appear to be based in truth: that The World Health Organisation is reportedly planning to declare that bacon, sausages and other processed meat cause cancer. Red meat is also expected to be listed as being “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Carcinogenic means “having the potential to cause cancer”.
Another health scare story? One would hope not as it is coming from the WHO. This announcement is expected to be made today which will put processed meat in the same category as cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos. Yes, you read that right.
It was suggested to me by a contact at the WHO that this classification in the highest risk group doesn’t necessarily mean that processed meat is as dangerous as smoking or asbestos, but it does mean that there is as strong scientific proof that it can cause cancer.
The UK NHS Choices website says that “evidence shows that there is probably a link between eating red and processed meat and the risk of bowel cancer. People who eat a lot of these meats are at higher risk of bowel cancer than those who eat small amounts.”
However, it also says that beef, lamb and pork “can form part of a healthy diet” and that red meat is “a good source of protein and provides vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc”.
The World Cancer Research Fund says: “There is strong evidence that eating a lot of these foods [red and processed meat] increases your risk of bowel cancer.”
So the consensus of opinion is that processed meat causes cancer.
Naturally farmers and the meat industry have expressed concern about the impact on sales if the WHO lists processed meat as a carcinogen. Betsy Booren, of the North American Meat Institute, said recently: “If they determine that red and processed meat causes cancer – and I think they will – that moniker will stick … It could take decades and billions of dollars to change that.” Don’t worry Betsy, the sugar industry can testify that spending billions buys scientists and people in high places.
The UK Government previously warned the public in 2011 about the dangers of excessive amounts of red meat, and over the past week it is coming under increasing pressure to release the findings or a report that it is suggested recommends a Sugar Tax.
So once again what we eat is making the front pages of newspapers, but does it really come as any surprise to us that processed meat is not good for us? Surely not.
Chris Hunt is a Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength. He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, mind and body retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.
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