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Processed Meats Cause Cancer, Says The WHO

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Barboneia
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Processed Meats Cause Cancer, Says The WHO

Postby Barboneia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:15 pm

Time to cut down on the meat lover's pizzas, perhaps.

Processed meats - such as bacon, sausages and ham - do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Its report said 50g of processed meat a day - less than two slices of bacon - increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

Meanwhile, it said red meats were "probably carcinogenic" but there was limited evidence.
The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits.

Cancer Research UK said this was a reason to cut down rather than give up red and processed meats.
And added that an occasional bacon sandwich would do little harm.

What is processed meat?
Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives.
Simply putting beef through a mincer does not mean the resulting mince is "processed" unless it is modified further.
Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces.

It is the chemicals involved in the processing which could be increasing the risk of cancer. High temperature cooking, such as on a barbeque, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.
In the UK, around six out of every 100 people get bowel cancer at some point in their lives.
If they were all had an extra 50g of bacon a day for the rest of their lives then the risk would increase by 18% to around seven in 100 people getting bowel cancer.
"So that's one extra case of bowel cancer in all those 100 lifetime bacon-eaters," argued Sir David Spiegelhalter, a risk professor from the University of Cambridge.

How bad?
The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence.
It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer.
However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking.
"For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said.
The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.

Little harm

Prof Tim Key, from the Cancer Research UK and the University of Oxford, said: "This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.
"Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn't going to do much harm - having a healthy diet is all about moderation."
Dr Teresa Norat, one of the advisors to the WHO report and from Imperial College London, said there were many factors causing bowel cancer.
She told BBC News website: "People should limit consumption of red meat and avoid consuming processed meat, but they should also have a diet rich in fibre, from fruit and vegetables and maintain an adequate body weight throughout life and limit the consumption of alcohol and be physically active."
The industry body the Meat Advisory Panel said "avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer" and said the focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.


Thoughts? Well, the message I'm getting seems simple enough. Don't eat processed meats. Of course, this might not be so easy for some people, as most people I know eat various processed meats throughout the week. Suddenly stopping might cause some people to lose it, or just annoy them. I also believe that it will have a negative effect on companies that specialize in foods like that, such as Bob Evans, Jimmy Dean, and Oscar Mayer's.

What do you think, NSG? Will you be cutting out lots of processed meats from your diet? Will you say to hell with the warning and continue to gorge on them? Or will you question why there have been so many threads concerning meat lately?

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Khadgar
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Postby Khadgar » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:36 pm

An 18% increased chance of quite a rare cancer is only a problem if you're already predisposed to such. That said you shouldn't be eating it anyway but the cancer isn't why.

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Cetacea
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Postby Cetacea » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:36 pm

food gives you cancer - don't eat and you will live a long and healthy life

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MERIZoC
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Postby MERIZoC » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:58 pm

It'll be interesting to see if in the next few decades, the processed meat industry goes the same way as the tobacco industry. Of course, the lobbying powers of the former are likely more powerful than those of the latter, but still.
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Barboneia
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Postby Barboneia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:00 pm

Merizoc wrote:It'll be interesting to see if in the next few decades, the processed meat industry goes the same way as the tobacco industry. Of course, the lobbying powers of the former are likely more powerful than those of the latter, but still.

Indeed. I wonder if we'll start to see surgeon general warnings on bacon packages. I doubt it, but it'd be funny and odd to see.

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The Greater American Confederation
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Postby The Greater American Confederation » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:07 pm

Well, the current trend among consumers is (apparently) to heat healthy food.So I'm pretty sure companies will start making "healthy" meat with no additives.
And in any case, just eat a fruits afterwards and I suppose it'll sort of balance the risks: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-c ... iet_facts2
Last edited by The Greater American Confederation on Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Legrian Dominion
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Postby Legrian Dominion » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:10 pm

This stinks a little.
I hope hamburgers and steaks aren't next as causes of cancer.
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Vissegaard
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Postby Vissegaard » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:10 pm

Did the OP actually read the article? It explicitly says that moderated bacon eating won't do you any harm. Therefore, eat as sensibly as any omnivore does.
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Empire of Narnia
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Postby Empire of Narnia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:12 pm

I'm amazed I'm still alive.

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Nickel Empire
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Postby Nickel Empire » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:13 pm

I don't really care if it causes cancer, red meat is still the best thing.
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Barboneia
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Postby Barboneia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:15 pm

Vissegaard wrote:Did the OP actually read the article? It explicitly says that moderated bacon eating won't do you any harm. Therefore, eat as sensibly as any omnivore does.

When I say "the message I'm getting is don't eat processed meats", I mean that that's what I think the article is saying people should do. I never said I believed such.

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Old Tyrannia
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Postby Old Tyrannia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:31 pm

The Who? You mean they're still around? Huh. I can't explain why a 60s rock band would know about processed meats and cancer anyway, but still. I'm a vegetarian, so I don't need to worry. For the rest of my generation, though, this will be worrying news. Perhaps they'll all have to find a substitute? But hey, look on the bright side- they won't get fooled again.
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The Hobbesian Metaphysician
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Postby The Hobbesian Metaphysician » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:52 pm

Cetacea wrote:food gives you cancer - don't eat and you will live a long and healthy life

Makes sense given humanity is dead anyway.
I am just going to lay it out here, I am going to be very blunt.

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Postby Rusozak » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:54 pm

What DOESN'T cause cancer? It's either live a normal life, or live an exceptionally long life in an isolated quarantine room. Take your pick.
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Old Tyrannia
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Postby Old Tyrannia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:56 pm

Rusozak wrote:What DOESN'T cause cancer? It's either live a normal life, or live an exceptionally long life in an isolated quarantine room. Take your pick.

Is there Internet access in this isolated quarantine room?
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Prezelly
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Postby Prezelly » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:57 pm

Rusozak wrote:What DOESN'T cause cancer? It's either live a normal life, or live an exceptionally long life in an isolated quarantine room. Take your pick.

And now that room contains no food. Exceptionally long happy life of two to five weeks
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Anollasia
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Postby Anollasia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:00 pm

Makes sense. This shouldn't be taken as avoiding processed meats completely, but try to eat less of it. Too much of anything is never good anyway.

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Nocturnalis
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Postby Nocturnalis » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:03 pm

What doesn't give us cancer?
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Postby USS Monitor » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Barboneia wrote:
Merizoc wrote:It'll be interesting to see if in the next few decades, the processed meat industry goes the same way as the tobacco industry. Of course, the lobbying powers of the former are likely more powerful than those of the latter, but still.

Indeed. I wonder if we'll start to see surgeon general warnings on bacon packages. I doubt it, but it'd be funny and odd to see.


Unlikely, since meat is less carcinogenic than tobacco.
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Postby The Serbian Empire » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:04 pm

I would say that there's a link to causing cancer for every food and liquid that is deemed edible. Maybe the WHO should merely say being a living organism increases the risk of cancer.

Old Tyrannia wrote:The Who? You mean they're still around? Huh. I can't explain why a 60s rock band would know about processed meats and cancer anyway, but still. I'm a vegetarian, so I don't need to worry. For the rest of my generation, though, this will be worrying news. Perhaps they'll all have to find a substitute? But hey, look on the bright side- they won't get fooled again.

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Postby Rusozak » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:05 pm

Prezelly wrote:
Rusozak wrote:What DOESN'T cause cancer? It's either live a normal life, or live an exceptionally long life in an isolated quarantine room. Take your pick.

And now that room contains no food. Exceptionally long happy life of two to five weeks


But, aside from starvation, that would be a pretty healthy corpse.
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Postby Napkiraly » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:05 pm

Barboneia wrote:
Merizoc wrote:It'll be interesting to see if in the next few decades, the processed meat industry goes the same way as the tobacco industry. Of course, the lobbying powers of the former are likely more powerful than those of the latter, but still.

Indeed. I wonder if we'll start to see surgeon general warnings on bacon packages. I doubt it, but it'd be funny and odd to see.

Do you see "this will or probably can cause cancer" on packages of alcohol or coffee? No? Well then.

Jesus Christ, this whole thing is giving me a headache.

People, read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/why-is-the-world-health-organization-so-bad-at-communicating-cancer-risk/412468/
And this: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/10/26/processed-meat-and-cancer-what-you-need-to-know/

Read them. Read them fucking carefully.

You can still eat meat. It can still be red and processed. Just don't eat it tons of times and/or in huge quantities.

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Anollasia
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Postby Anollasia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:07 pm

Nocturnalis wrote:What doesn't give us cancer?


Healthy fruits and vegetables! :) :D

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The Huskar Social Union
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:08 pm

Not taking my Bacon, you try and take a man's bacon.... and there will be blood.

Though seriously, just eat it in a balanced fashion like most people, dont go mental and have a few burgers or plates of bacon every second day (i know the temptation is real but dont), as Anollasia said, too much of anything is never good.
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Postby The Serbian Empire » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:08 pm

Napkiraly wrote:
Barboneia wrote:Indeed. I wonder if we'll start to see surgeon general warnings on bacon packages. I doubt it, but it'd be funny and odd to see.

Do you see "this will or probably can cause cancer" on packages of alcohol or coffee? No? Well then.

Jesus Christ, this whole thing is giving me a headache.

People, read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/why-is-the-world-health-organization-so-bad-at-communicating-cancer-risk/412468/
And this: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/10/26/processed-meat-and-cancer-what-you-need-to-know/

Read them. Read them fucking carefully.

You can still eat meat. It can still be red and processed. Just don't eat it tons of times and/or in huge quantities.

So eat red meat rarely.

Anollasia wrote:
Nocturnalis wrote:What doesn't give us cancer?


Healthy fruits and vegetables! :) :D

As long as they're organic. The pesticides are carcinogenic as well.
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