67 videos

Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda

The American Institute for Cancer Research defines processed meat as “meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.” Cured meats like bacon, hot dogs and cold cuts have been linked to increased cancer risk overall and breast cancer in particular. A key factor may be the nitrites that are often added as a preservative in processed meats to combat the threat of botulism.  When processed in the stomach, these nitrates become carcinogenic nitrosamines and nitrosamides. Hot dog intake has been linked with two leading pediatric cancers, brain tumors, and childhood leukemia.

Processed meat also appears linked to long-term weight gain.  Intake of processed and other meats before pregnancy may raise the risk of gestational diabetes and may play a role in infertility and in early-onset puberty in girls. Cured meat consumption appears to be linked to risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, known as COPD. Processed meats may also contribute to aging, possibly by reducing our protective DNA telomeres.

In September 2019, the Annals of Internal Medicine released a press release with the headline: “New guidelines: No need to reduce red or processed meat consumption for good health”.  See Dr. David Katz’s response to these publications here.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

All Videos for Processed Meat

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