Hear AICR’s Registered Dietitian Discuss Major Advances in Diet-Cancer Research

Our article on 9 Findings That Have Rocked Cancer Prevention Research in this month’s issue of Cancer Research Update inspired the website Wellness Times to interview AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD on the subject.

Listen to Alice discuss the major scientific advances that have transformed our understanding of how everyday choices influence our cancer risk.

Are you receiving Cancer Research Update, AICR’s free biweekly digest of breaking news and cutting-edge research on the role of diet, weight, physical activity on cancer? Stay up on the science by subscribing today.


AICR Research Conference Making Headlines

We’ve had a busy last few days, as news from our press event coinciding with AICR’s Annual Research Conference got some high-profile coverage.

CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen did a great in-depth piece about the new findings on activity, sedentary behavior and cancer.  Watch the story here.

The NBC Nightly News didn’t mention AICR by name, but they did interview Dr. Christine Friedenreich (Note: That’s CHRISTINE Friedenreich, not “Susan,” NBC caption-makers.)  Watch the NBC coverage.

Really nice Canadian piece on CTV.

Here’s the USA TODAY article.

ABC News

CBS News

The Washington Post

WebMD

Scientific American

Got some interesting blog coverage, too:

Gawker

Gizmodo

Technorati

AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD was interviewed on DC’s local FOX affiliate.

The story’s been picked up by over a hundred other news and print outlets in the last few days, and is still going strong.

Have you seen the story popping up in any strange/surprising places? Let us know in the comments.

 


Are Hot Dogs as Bad as Cigarettes?

Citing the conclusions of WCRF/AICR’s expert report and its recent updates, the pro-vegan advocacy group called the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has launched a pitched campaign to raise awareness that regular consumption of hot dogs and other processed meats increase risk of colorectal cancer.

PCRM’s campaign is certainly arresting: A billboard ad that depicts hot dogs poking out of a cigarette pack has received a great deal of media attention.

Although AICR is not affiliated with PCRM or this campaign, the ad’s claims are based on WCRF/AICR’s Continuous Update Project (CUP), which built and continuously maintains the world’s largest research database on diet, physical activity, weight and cancer. A CUP report on colon cancer risk was released earlier this year, which confirmed the recommendations of an independent, international 21-member expert panel convened by WCRF/AICR.

Among those recommendations: Limit consumption of red meat to 18 ounces per week. But according to the expert panel: “The evidence on processed meat is even more clear-cut than that on red meat, and the data do not show any level of intake that can confidently be shown not to be associated with risk.” Processed meat includes hot dogs, bacon, sausage and lunchmeat.

Specifically, the CUP report concluded that, if a person eats 3.5 ounces (the size of one jumbo hot dog) of processed meat every day, their risk of colorectal cancer will be 36% higher than someone who eats no processed meat. If they eat 7.0 ounces of processed meat every day (49 ounces per week), their risk will be 72% higher, and so on.

That’s why we recommend saving processed meats for special occasions, such as a slice of ham at Easter or a hot dog at a ball game.

But let’s put that extra risk in context.

Take the example of a person eating one jumbo hot dog a day, every day. The fact that his risk for colorectal cancer is 36% higher than someone who doesn’t eat processed meat is a real cause for concern. But note that a 36% increase, while substantial, is not anywhere near the risk associated with cigarette smoking.

Smoking doesn’t simply increase risk for lung cancer, but multiplies a person’s risk by as much as 20 times, according to the CDC.

The increased risk associated with diets high in processed meat is much, much smaller than that. Even a person who eats 7 ounces, day in and day out, increases his risk by 72% — in other words, his risk doesn’t even double, let alone multiply by a factor of 20.

Here’s the bottom line:  An occasional hot dog will not cause colon cancer. What the evidence does show, however, is that making processed meats an everyday part of the diet, as many Americans do, poses clear and serious risks. That is why AICR continues to recommend avoiding processed meats.

And that’s also why finding convenient, healthful alternatives to hot dogs, bologna and other school lunch staples is so important.