Last week, there was a significant buzz on the internet surrounding the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent announcement that processed meats cause cancer. According to many of the sensationalist headlines, bacon is now as bad as smoking. Is there any truth to this? We decided to take a closer look at the studies and science behind this claim.
The fact that processed meat has a causal relationship with cancer is nothing new. There have been a significant number of studies that have reported a correlation between processed meat consumption and an increased risk of developing bowel (also known as colorectal) cancer. The recent hoopla is WHO’s official classification of processed meats in the same category as smoking as a carcinogen that causes cancer. Does this mean it is as bad as smoking? No, it simply means that there is enough evidence to say there is a link between consumption of bacon and cancer. It should be important to note that alcohol and tobacco are also in this category.