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The Hot Dog Danger

     I was looking for a picture of a hot dog and got distracted. I landed on Big Foot instead of a footlong, Of course, we all know that we really don’t know what we are getting, when we are eating a hot dog.

     I remember being about 10 and being excited about hot dog night at the baseball park. We would go see the Tides in Norfolk; Some baseball and some free hot dogs.

     It was all you could eat. At the age of 10, you take it seriously. It becomes “all you CAN eat”. Plus, the hot dogs made you laugh because the food coloring would come right off in the bun. And, you would even have some shade of red/orange on the lips.

     Unfortunately, we  know that,  just as Big Foot is not a foot long hot dog; a hot dog is really not something that any of us should really be eating very often.

     Now there are advocacy groups that are trying to bring attention to the dangers of hot dogs. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is putting up billboards to publicize the health risks of hot dogs. 

     Another non-profit group has filed suit in New Jersey,  to ask a Judge to require hot dog companies in New Jersey, to include warnings on the sides of hot dog packs. The warning would include that hot dogs increase the risk of cancer.

     The American Institute of Cancer Research has done studies that show that consuming 50-grams of processed meat each day, increases colorectal cancer by 21%.  Most hot dogs are about 50-grams of processed meat.

     Additionally, studies have also connected processed meats to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other types of cancer. Processed meat consumption by children has shown connection to leukemia, ovarian cancer and even an early development of type 2 diabetes..

     Maybe if we didn’t see a hot dog as a friend named Oscar Meyer; or maybe if the package came with a warning that it caused cancer, it might make us think differently at the next cookout or that quick meal at night.

     It’s a  nutritional issue. Should food manufacturers be required to identify the  risks of what they make?  Or,  should government stay out of legislating what parents should feed their kids?

     It’s not just fat grams or sodium; These studies are connecting serious illnesses.


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