WHO: Processed Meat Linked to Cancer; Red Meat Is Risky, Too - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

WHO: Processed Meat Linked to Cancer; Red Meat Is Risky, Too

Posted: Updated:
(AP) -

Hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats raise the risk of colon, stomach and other cancers, and red meat probably contributes to the disease, too, the World Health Organization said Monday.

WHO's cancer agency analyzed decades of research on the subject and issued its most definitive statement yet, putting processed meats in the same danger category as smoking or asbestos, though that doesn't mean, say, salami is as bad as cigarettes.

But health and meat experts say, you shouldn't panic.

Local health experts say, understanding cancer is very difficult but you should focus on keeping up a healthy and active lifestyle, more than worrying about any individual food.

The World Health Organization says eating one-point-seven ounces of processed meat a day, increases your risk for cancer by almost 20-percent.

That's some alarming news when you think about all the bacon and beef eaten here in Iowa, but meat experts like Mark Ratkovich say eating meat is certainly not a death sentence by any means.

"As far as burgers and brats and steaks and things like that, I don't think there's anything to fear as far as dying from it," he says.

Experts say when calculating cancer risk, it's important to consider a person's overall health, their diet and lifestyle. It's all about portion control.

Professor Robert Picard from the University of Cardiff says, "The bottom line in nutrition is to eat a little bit of as many different things as possible, but never to eat too much of one thing."

"I eat plenty of meat myself you know being in the business of course, but at the same time I try to regulate my diet too," Ratkovich agrees.

In response to this new report, the Executive Director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council points out, "Understanding cancer is complex. No single food, including beef, have been proven to cause any type of cancer. Cancer risk isn't about diet alone but rather many factors such as age, genetics, obesity, lack of physical activity, alcohol and smoking."

The report puts processed meats in the same cancer-causing category as cigarettes, but it's important to know, it says that eating processed meats may double your risk for cancer, while smoking multiplies that risk by as much as twenty times.

A local dietician in Waterloo says, you can lower your cancer risk by choosing lean cuts of red meat and by eating more foods linked to cancer prevention, like fruits and vegetables.

Powered by Frankly