Monday, March 31, 2008

Sausage a day can increase bowel cancer risk - Telegraph

Sausage a day can increase bowel cancer risk - Telegraph

"Sausage a day can increase bowel cancer risk

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 2:03am BST 31/03/2008

Eating one sausage or three rashers of bacon a day can increase the risk of bowel cancer by a fifth, a medical expert has said.

The warning involved only 1.8oz (50g) of processed meat daily.

Daily consumption of sausages and other processed meats can increase the risk of bowel cancer.
It recommended that people eat less than 17.6oz of cooked red meat a week and avoid all processed meat.

Researchers found that almost half of cancers could be prevented with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, using sunscreen, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake.

The charity World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said more needed to be done to get across the message that people who eat processed meat regularly are putting their health at risk..."

The idea that such a small amount of processed meat - including ham, which Oliver often enjoys - can increase risk of bowel cancer by 20% has set me thinking about my stance on my children's diet in general.

I don't eat meat. Unsurprisingly people therefore ask me "do you raise your children meat-free"? The answer is "no". I decided to give up meat for a variety of reasons as a young adult and they can choose to do the same if they wish when they are older.

So today they eat some meat and some veggie food too. But given that my own reasons for foregoing meat include health reasons, am I letting down my children by not choosing for them what I have chosen for myself?

Of course it's not that black and white. For a start, Hayley is not veggie and she would have a say in the decision. She doesn't eat much meat though. Consequently Oliver's diet falls somewhere between Hayley's and my own.

I don't see the situation changing in the near future, but just as I periodically review my own diet - re-introducing fish several years ago as a result - I know I will continue to review my children's diet just as closely.