A report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork causes cancer. In particular, the WHO specifically mentioned processed pork products such as bacon, sausages and hot dogs.
Eating hot dogs, ham and other processed meat can cause colorectal cancer, and eating red meat “probably” can cause cancer, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency reported.
Kurt Straif of the International Agency for Cancer Research said the risk of developing colorectal cancer from eating processed meat remains small but rises with the amount consumed. Consuming red meat was linked to colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer, but the link was not as strong, the IARC report said.
“In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,” Straif said.
For example, the WHO says that adding just one hot dog to your diet per day significantly increases your risk of colorectal cancer.
According to studies cited in the WHO report, for every 50 grams of processed meat someone eats per day, the equivalent of a little more than a single hot dog, your risk of colorectal cancer goes up by 18%.
Eating too much pork and other red meat has already been linked to heart disease, various types of cancer, and early death, but has never officially been classified as a cancer-causing food. In 2014, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – the same organization arm that classified the herbicide glyphosate as probably carcinogenic, cited studies linking red and processed meats to colorectal, esophageal, lung, and pancreatic cancer, saying that determining the connection was a “high priority.”
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, “There is strong evidence that eating a lot of these foods [red and processed meat] increases your risk of bowel cancer.” Experts estimate that half of all cases of the disease could be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Additionally, according to Harvard Medical School, cutting out or reducing pork and other red meat consumption can help prolong your life by up to 20%. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found unequivocally that people who ate the most red meat (especially processed red meats) died younger, and most often from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.