It’s no surprise why there are warning labels on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The research shows that they cause cancer. No one contests that point. But what about other products? When there is research pointing out a true risk, should there be a warning on those items too? The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine thinks so and you may be surprised what product they’re currently comparing to cigarettes: hot dogs.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C. group that promotes preventive medicine and a vegan diet, has recently launched an ad campaign likening hot dogs to cigarettes. The group’s intention is to make consumers aware of a link between colorectal cancer and hot dogs. Based off research, the committee believes that hot dogs and other processed meats should come with a warning label, just like cigarettes.
The medical committee has done their research and has very valid points for their arguments. Studies from the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research have made a clear connection between processed meats and colorectal cancer. The research shows that a single 50-gram serving of processed meat a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent. A typical hot dog contains 50 grams of processed meat. Other meats that are highly processed are deli meats, ham, sausage, bacon and pepperoni.
Many doctors are finding this campaign a little extreme, but admit that hot dogs are a low-nutrient and high-sodium food that they don’t recommend as a staple to any diet. However, many doctors feel an indulgence now and then is acceptable.
The Physicians Committee strategically posted their anti-hot dog billboard outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer. They hope to impact race fans as last year during the Indianapolis 500 more than 1.1 million hot dogs were sold.
Does this long lived American icon need to be retired? Maybe so. Or maybe it just needs to be remodeled. Either way, it seems appropriate that consumers should know all the facts before they order up their next dog.