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Health Team

Researchers: Keep processed meats out of kids' lunch boxes

Posted September 4, 2009

Nonprofit researchers are urging parents to stop putting ham and other processed meats into their children's school lunch boxes due to the risk of cancer.

A study by the World Cancer Research Fund found that eating processed meats, such as bacon, ham and salami, increases the risk of bowel cancer later in life.

Researchers: Keep processed meats out of kids' lunch boxes Parents urged to reconsider processed meats

Researchers think preservatives might be producing cancer-causing substances.

"It's either the chemicals or what happens to them when they're processed in your body can raise your risk of cancer," said Sian Porter, with the British Dietetic Association.

To make children's lunch boxes healthier, researchers recommended replacing processed meats with snacks such as low-fat cheese and hummus.

Get more tips for healthy lunch boxes.

Over a lifetime, researchers said, even such small changes can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Some parents said they aren't buying those findings, while others said it inspired them to teach their children better habits.

"It won't stop me putting it (processed meat) in the kid's sandwiches at all," one parent said.

"I don't eat a lot of it myself, so I wouldn't be giving it to her," another parent said.

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  • Pseudonym Sep 10, 2009

    Scientistjo,

    You accuse someone of not having scientific evidence to back up their statement and then go on to say that this is the first generation to not live longer than their parents. Where's your scientific evidence? Or, do you have your own personal flux capacitor that sent you 80 years into the future to see how many of our children are still alive?

  • shenson11162 Sep 9, 2009

    My old man ate fried PROCESSED bologna sandwiches and PROCESSED hotdogs 4 or 5 times a week for most of his life. He is presently 85 years old and he recently had a colonoscopy. Clear as a bell.

  • MillerB Sep 9, 2009

    You know...they said Sacharinne(sp?) caused cancer to. What they didn't publish was that you had to consume your body weight in it every single day for Lord knows how many years for it to cause cancer. I'm betting this so-called "study" was sponsored by some group that wants to cut meat out of peoples diets for good.

  • RAA0013 Sep 9, 2009

    I can't get my kids to eat enough veggies - how in the heck do I get them to try hummus when I hate the stuff myself. Terrible texture to it. As with everything in life - all in moderation.

    And I agree with an earlier post - eggs are bad, then eggs are good, then eggs are bad...who can keep up anymore. And who is funding these studies? Why not spend the money trying to find a cure for cancer.

  • DangYankee Sep 9, 2009

    Nitrates and nitrites break down into nitrosamines, which have been show to cause cancer in MULTIPLE experiments. All it takes is a reading of the ingredients. No nitrates or nitrites listed? Then it's OK.

    wrx44: Nothing better than a good salami! :-)

    I love

  • mewubbau Sep 9, 2009

    I think it's funny they suggest hummus in lunchboxes?! Generally speaking I would think most kids would not go for hummus. I'm not saying hummus isn't good, but I think the majority of kids are not going to want hummus?!

  • validpoint Sep 9, 2009

    "Wal-Mart, Target, and some of the higher-end grocery stores all sell nitrate-free lunch meat next to the regular stuff."

    I wouldn't consider those stores, "high end". haha
    But, you are right that certain stores do carry nitrate-free products. Harris Teeter is good for natural items as well as any specialty shop.

  • OSX Sep 8, 2009

    "And where is your scientific evidence? You do not have to abide by their warning, but it's difficult to dispute facts"--scientistjo

    Since when do I have to have a scientific proof to disagree with something? I am not going to live my life afraid of everything. If you want to live on Soy beans, by all means, go ahead.

  • scientistjo Sep 8, 2009

    "I don't agree with any of their findings." -OSX

    And where is your scientific evidence? You do not have to abide by their warning, but it's difficult to dispute facts.

    Deathrow, so your family will eat all the processed meat it can, and you will also not get the h1n1 vaccine. Just think how long the lifespan in your family could be! Also, this is the first generation of children who will not live to be as old as the previous generation.

  • emaleth Sep 8, 2009

    Wal-Mart, Target, and some of the higher-end grocery stores all sell nitrate-free lunch meat next to the regular stuff. Look for it labeled as "natural" or "preservative-free." Look on the label. If it has nitrates or nitrites, stay away. There are also brands of nitrate-free bacon and sausage on the market. Just read the label. I don't feed the preservative-laced stuff to my family and haven't for years. If the demand goes up for the healthier stuff, more stores will carry it. You don't have to sacrifice convenience for health.

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