Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that processed meats (think: bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ham) cause cancer, classifying them into "Group 1", "carcinogenic to humans".
The report cites "sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer." Group 1 also contains cancer-causing substances like tobacco and asbestos, but the reclassification does not necessarily mean that processed meats are as bad for you as smoking. Your risk for developing cancer caused by processed meats increases with the amount of processed meats you eat.
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“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” says Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Programme.
The report also took a look at red meat, classifying it into Group 2A, "probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans."
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