Bag the bacon in that BLT, curb your cold cut combos and toss out the tube steak. That’s the advice of a physician’s nonprofit that says eating red or processed meats "kills more people than tobacco."
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., filed a petition May 7, 2012 with the White House.
PCRM was asking for an executive order banning staged photo opportunities that show the President, the First Family, the Vice President, and members of the President’s Cabinet eating unhealthy foods — including processed meats — that can cause cancer and obesity.
The Petition for Executive Action argues that such photographs are better publicized than health messages like the federal dietary guidelines, and are likely to add to ignorance about health and nutrition.
“The White House would never set up a photo op showing the president buying cigarettes, so why is it OK to show him eating a hot dog?” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D in a released statement.
“Processed meats like hot dogs kill more Americans each year than tobacco does, and they cost taxpayers billions of dollars in healthcare. As role model to millions of Americans the president has a responsibility to watch what he eats in public.”
Consuming red and processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a large number of studies, including the landmark European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
The study found a combination of these four dietary factors -- fiber, fish, red and processed meats --plays a major role in colorectal cancer etiology, in addition to alcohol intake, obesity and low physical activity.
Eating fish and fiber reduces your risk while consuming red and processed meats raises it.
More than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, a third of all Americans are considered obese.