IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hot Dogs Linked to Cancer

It's a summer staple at barbecues and baseball games- hot dogs. But, could cancer be another ingredient to go along with the mustard and relish? Well one non-profit organization is warning consumers to avoid all processed meat.
/ Source: WEEK-TV

The hot dog, it doesn't get more American than this, however The Cancer Project, a non-profit organization for cancer prevention and survival, says people should think twice before biting into a dog.

"There was convincing evidence of the link between eating processed meats and increasing the risk of colorectal and other forms of cancer", said Dan Kinburn, Attorney for The Cancer Project.

Kinburn says that's based on a report released by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, so the non-profit filed a lawsuit against hot dog companies in July.

The attorney says they're "askiing that every package of hot dogs and other processed meats that these companies sell have a warning on them that says consuming this product increases your risk of cancer".

OSF dietitian Ashley Simper says she too read the study, but thinks "it's a far-fetched lawsuit". She said "they came to the conclusion that consuming about 50 grams of processed meat which is equivalent to about one hot dog a day, increases your chances of developing colorectal cancer by 21 percent".

To put that in perspective, she says a smoker has a 10 to 20 times greater risk of developing lung cancer compared to a nonsmoker.

"People that eat hot dogs have about one to two times greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than the people that don't ever eat hot dogs", said the dietitian.

Simper says processed meats are bad for you due to the Sodium Nitrites which are used to preserve foods and enhance color. She says it's important to diversify your diet, and cut down on amount of bacon, lunch meat, and of course hot dogs you eat. As for the lawsuit, she says its baloney. "When you go buy a hot dog are you going to look at that package of hot dogs and say well since it has this warning label on it, I'm not gonna buy it?"

The Cancer Project attorney believes people will think twice, but he believes it's going to be "a very hard fought litigation. At the end of the day, the court will agree with us and require the warning labels to be put on".

Although hot dogs aren't the healthiest choice, experts say indulging every once in a while won't kill you.