Do you enjoy the occasional weenie, perhaps at a ballgame or a backyard barbeque? If the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has its way, you might make the switch to sushi sooner than you might have thought. The Washington, D.C. group, which promotes preventive medicine and a vegan diet, unveiled a billboard Monday near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an urgent advisory: "Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health."
If the admonishment doesn't reach you, the graphic -- a picture of hot dogs in a cigarette pack inscribed with skull and crossbones – might catch your attention. The public service announcement aims to increase awareness of a link between colorectal cancer and hot dogs.
Hot dogs, like cigarettes, said Susan Levin, the committee's nutrition education director, should come with a "warning label that helps racing fans and other consumers understand the health risk."
According to 2007 reports by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, there is a convincing link between colorectal cancer and processed meat. One 50-gram serving of processed meat -- approximately the amount in one hot dog -- a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by an average of 21 percent, the study found.
Meatless Monday is beginning to look a lot more appealing.