We should give up bacon for this?

Its report says each 50g of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage, or less than two slices of bacon – increases the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18 per cent.

Incidence is of the order of 50 cases a year per 100,000 people. So, if we assume (wrongly) that that’s among the non-processed meat eaters, the risk rises to 60 cases per 100,000 per year.

For this we should give up bacon?

It’s also worth considering the counter-factual: what’s nutrition going to be like without processed (ie, preserved) meats? Maybe in the rich world we can all afford to eat fresh meat only but I wouldn’t bet on that being true of everyone even in the rich countries. It’s most certainly not true of everyone around here in Portugal, let alone poorer countries.

9 thoughts on “We should give up bacon for this?”

  1. That assumes that their figures are even true and not a pack of “social purity” (IanB’s apt phrase) lying bullshit.

    There is no safe level of socialism/statism.

  2. Mr Ecks, this is not new, the evidence has been building for years. The evidence is strong, that eating processed meat increases your chance of cancer from a tiny amount to a slightly bigger tiny amount.

  3. Have they allowed for age effects? If eating bacon, etc. helps you live a longer, healthier life, you’re more likely to get cancer just because you’re older.

    Bacon butty anyone?

  4. “He [Kurt Straif, head of WHO’s Classification Agency] estimated that 34,000 cancer deaths worldwide are attributed to processed meat, ….”
    The Times

    34,000 out of 7 billionish? Bollocks. That’s not even wrong.
    Impossible to measure.

  5. “34,000 cancer deaths worldwide are attributed to processed meat, ….”

    Given the shortage of dietary protein, much of the world experiences, the death toll from removing processed meat would be?

  6. IIRC, the best way to cut down the incidence of *all* cancers is this one weird old trick: Have people die younger.

    The incidence of cancer increases greatly with longevity, so dying younger – by starvation, drowning, electrocution – anything that’s not cancer – will mean that you don’t get to die of cancer.

    Similarly, anyone dying of Bacon Cancer will be protected against dying from any other cause. So eat more bacon – you know it makes sense 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *