School Lunch Reform
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is behind a new ad campaign suggesting that even one hotdog consumed in childhood can increase the risk of cancer in adulthood. The campaign is actually run by The Cancer Project (an affiliate of PCRM).
It is based on a comprehensive report released late last year by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. After reviewing all existing data on nutrition and cancer risk, researchers concluded that processed meat increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent for every 50 grams consumed daily. (A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of a typical hot dog.) The landmark report clearly states that no amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat.
The Cancer Project is hoping to reform the federal Child Nutrition Act, up for renewal in 2009, which determines the foods that are served in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently includes processed meats in the lists of foods available to schools.
However, not everyone is in agreement with the message PCRM is sending…
“My concern about this campaign is it’s giving the indication that the occasional hot dog in the school lunch is going to increase cancer risk,” said Colleen Doyle, the American Cancer Society’s nutrition director. “An occasional hot dog isn’t going to increase that risk.”
While I applaud the Cancer Project for trying to reform school lunches, I think the ad is rather alarmist, and might even backfire in the end. Here’s the ad, what do you think?